The Narrator in The Tell-Tale Heart

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I have been reading The Tell- Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe, published in 1850. When I first read Tell-Tale Heart, my very first thought was this man is insane. He states that he killed an old man, he did not kill this old man because he pissed him off or because he wanted his money, he states that he loved this man and he never has done any harm to him.

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He states that he killed this old man because he was bothered by his eye. There are a lot of metaphors that are used in this short story, and the metaphors that the man uses really sticks out at me and makes the story very detailed. To better explain the story, the old man talks about how he killed this man and hid the body under the floor boards in his house. The story doesn’t state this, but I assume that the story is being told in an insane asylum. I believe this because he shows signs of being an insane man that cannot function in society like a normal man. He states in the passage, it is impossible to say how the first idea entered my brain; but once convinced, it haunted me day and night (Poe, 1850). He states right after that Passion there was none (Poe, 1850).

That is clearly stating that this man has no apologizes for his actions for killing this man. Also, towards the end of the story he discusses how he was caught, leaving us to believe that he was found insane and is serving time in a mental institution. He gives evidence the whole story as to why he believes he is in fact not insane, and he had good reasoning as to why he killed this man. He states that I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever (Poe, 1850)., explaining that there was valid reasoning as to why he killed this man. He also states to give evidence that he is not insane, How, then, am I mad? Hearken, and observe how healthy, how calmly I can tell you the story (Poe, 1850). He gives a lot of evidence but in reality, killing a man and then hiding him under the floor boards like a dead animal is a strong indicator of an insane person. He also brags how previously he planned out this murder, and how goodly he planned this murder. He states that he watched the man sleep every night for seven nights straight planning how he would commit this murder. On the seventh night, he was watching the old man sleep when he mistakenly dropped a lantern that made a sound and woke the old man. He waited an hour, but the old man was still up and not going to sleep in fear someone was at his house.

He waited for his time and killed the man quickly and quietly. He never talks about if he used something to kill the old man with or if he just killed him with his bare hands. He stated that when he killed the old man, it shut his eye and it would never have to bother him no more. After he killed the man, he said that he took the corpse in a quiet manner, brought him to the basement and cut off his legs, arms and head so he would fit in the floor boards. He brags again how much thought and planning went into hiding the body. He said that when he picked up the floor boards and put the body in there, he picked up just 3 floor boards, and placed the body so carefully and in a way that could never be possibly heard or detected. After the body was in the floor boards, he brags how nicely he put everything back together, in a way that any human eye, even his could not be detected. As you read more and more of this story, you began to ask yourself, or at least I asked myself repeatedly, did this old man that was killed really have a bad eye or was the narrator, the man that killed him, just insane and his eye was completely normal?

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