3 April, 2012
Berenice and the Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe: the role psychological disorders play in these stories Throughout literature, authors adapt instances from their own lives and integrate them into their works in order to manipulate the psychological aspects of their characters (Campbell 1). It is a rarity, however, for an author to produce a work that can be analyzed both biographically and psychologically. An excellent example of such writers is Edgar Allan Poe. Poe is famous for his Gothic style writings and psychologically thrilling tales which examine the depths of the human psyche. At first glance, his works emit a dark vibe which instigates feelings of doom for the protagonists. (Campbell 1). Because Poe experienced a sequence of tragic events throughout his life, his own psychological health was strained. If one were to investigate the life of Poe, no questions should begin to arise about the underlying themes in his work. It becomes evident after reading his stories and poems that Poe relied heavily on occurrences in his life for inspiration. The damage presents itself through his writings as a neurotic obsession with death and violence Throughout his literary works, Edgar Allen Poe mirrors his characters’ mental state to that of his own insanity. Two examples of such works are Berenice, and the Tell-Tale Heart. The protagonists in both tales share horrific congruencies, while at the same time remain unparalleled in nature. Psychological disorders are the driving force behind the heinous events that take place. To understand the actions of the protagonists, one must understand the mental illness from which they suffered. Poe describes both characters as sufferers of monomania- a single pathological preoccupation in an otherwise sound mind (Webster’s Dictionary). Emotional monomania is that in which the patient is obsessed with only one emotion or several...