The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

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The narrator insists from the very beginning of the story that he is not insane.  What characteristics does he say prove his sanity?  What characteristics suggest his madness instead?  

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First, the first-person narrator of "The Tell-tale Heart" asserts that the calm with which he will tell his story proves he is sane. He also insists that he cannot be mad because he didn't act out of passion and because he loved the old man. He tries to posit that his actions were reasonable and rational, saying they were not driven by emotion or hatred. Finally, the narrator offers up his careful advance planning of his crime as evidence he is not insane.

However, the narrator's actions themselves—whether or not undertaken calmly or with foresight—suggest he was mad. Who, for example, consistently comes creeping into another person's room at midnight to spy? Who kills another person for no more crime than having...

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