The Tell-Tale Heart Questions and Answers
by Edgar Allan Poe

The Tell-Tale Heart book cover
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How could you analyze the short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" in a phsychological way?

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There are a few ways in which you could analyze the themes and plot of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart". One of them is to look at the psychology of the reader and see why this tale is so horrifying. As a logical species, we crave understanding. This tale is horrifying because the narrator is insane and therefore illogical. He tells this tale to prove that he is perfectly sane, focusing on his care, precision, and forethought when planning the murder. He does not realize that these actions he describes prove his insanity even more. The motive is also terrifying. He states "I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was hid eye!" He kills a man that he loved for reasons that are unclear even to him as he recalls that he "thinks" it was the eye. 

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