Freudian Analysis of Edgar Allen Poe's a Tell Tale Heart

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Erika Barnett
Professor Curley
Daring the Nightmare
13 October 2010
A Freudian Analysis of “The Tell-Tale Heart” By Edgar Allen Poe As an esteemed psychologist analyzing this accused murderer, I have found a few key pieces of evidence that ultimately lead me to the decision that the murderer is in fact mad and I recommend psychological rehabilitation as well as jail sentence as a proper penalty for the crime committed. Although, he claims he can recount the night of the murder “healthily and calmly” it is not proof enough to disregard his insanity. The murderer insists that he “loved the old man” which I believe is undoubtedly true. As far as my knowledge goes he was stuck in a paradox of love and hate. With that said I know that people sometimes tend to harm the people they love. He claims he was not after the old man by any greedy or vengeful means, “He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire…” By saying this, he makes it clear that he has eliminated any motives that normally inspire a murderer. Instead he describes his obsession with the old man’s, “vulture eye” as what makes him tick. To everyone except the murderer, the obsession with the old man’s blue eye is unexplainable. The only indication given is that the eye makes his “blood run cold” so much so that he thought the only just way to eliminate this problem was to end the old man’s life all together. Additionally, when he exclaims his plans to rid himself of the eye forever, subconsciously he wants to rid the old man of the eye because it is evil. However, it is apparent that the murderer does not comprehend that he cannot isolate the man from his eye, and that if he tries he will have killed the man too not just the eye. In his mind, he has separated the man’s identity, which is pleasant and agreeable, from his vulture eye, which is described as evil and eerie. By doing so, the murderer has now justified to himself his capability of murdering the old man....
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