Edgar Allen Poe: The Tell – Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado
“The Tell Tale Heart” and “The Cask of Amontillado” Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart” deals with a man’s mental deterioration and decent into madness. The story focuses on the narrator and his obsessions. The story is told from the first person point of view. So the reader knows what the narrator thinks and sees. The narrator reveals his insanity through his obsessions. The narrator’s obsessions include obsessions with the old man’s eye, beating heart and the narrator’s own sanity. The story is about the narrator who for eight consecutive nights goes to the bedroom of an old man. He stands at the door and watches the man sleep with a single ray of light pointing to the old man’s pale blue film covered evil eye. On the eighth night the man hears something in his room and sits up on his bed with his evil eye open and racing heartbeat consumes the narrator and he races to the bed and suffocates the old man. After the murder the narrator dismembers the body and buries the old man in the floorboards. The murder of the old man illustrates the extent to which the narrator separates the old man’s identity from his physical eye. The narrator sees the eye as completely separate from the man, and as a result, he is capable of murdering him while maintaining that he loves him. As the story progresses, the narrator expresses that he is not mad but he is really trying to convince himself he is not insane. For instance, the narrator, at one point simply says, “If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body.” The narrator also has an unusual obsession with the old man’s eye. The idea of the “evil eye” carries on throughout the story, until finally the narrator snaps, and does something about it. The narrator had no real motive for killing the old man. He even states this at the beginning saying, “Object there was...
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