The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

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Is the murderer in "The Tell-Tale Heart" sane or insane?

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It is not generally regarded as a characteristic of sanity to keep insisting, with increasing vehemence, that one is not mad. The narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart” not only does this but even accuses the reader of thinking him mad, an accusation he repeats four times throughout the course of a very short story.

Other evidence of the narrator’s madness includes his extremely tenuous justifications for the murder.

Object there was none. Passion there was none. 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 his eye! yes, it was this!

In this quotation, it seems as though his distaste for the old man’s eye has only just occurred to the narrator, but he adopts it as his reason for murder and henceforth insists upon it with all the dogmatism of madness. His description of his preparations for the murder also seem unbelievable to the point of insanity. He keeps referring to the slowness of his...

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aimeraima | Student

murderer is insane.

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