Tell Tale Heart Analysis

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ENG 4U1

March 25, 12

Under The Floor Boards: The Id, Ego and Superego

What makes us act on impulse? What as human makes us decide wrong from right? Sigmund Freud, a famous philosopher had studied people and found that humans have three parts to them. The Id, the ego and the superego, these three traits help us decide wrong from right. The Id acts only on pleasure; it avoids pain and allows us to make poor judgments. The ego makes distinctions between wrong and right, but makes decisions to please the Id. The superego is what tells us wrong from right and allows us to make the right decisions even if it causes pain or grief. In the story “ The Tell Tale Heat” written by Edgar Allen Poe the narrator allows the Id and ego to take over and make decisions for him but what will happen when the superego goes against the Id and Ego?

The Id plays an important role in the story for the Id is what tells the narrator to go ahead and kill the old man because of his “evil eye”. The narrator explains how once he got the idea he could stop thinking about it “It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived it haunted

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Me day and night”(pg. 1) the Id kept this thought in the narrator’s brain. It then continued to haunt the narrator to the point where he was finding was to kill the old man. “And every night, about midnight, I turn the latch of his door and opened it –oh so gently…And this I did for several long nights-every night just at midnight (pg.1)” After plotting for several nights, the narrator finally decided to act. He then snuck into the old mans room, but made a noise which awoke him. He then waited patiently for the man to fall asleep again but he didn’t, the narrator had mentioned that when he was in his room in previous nights he could not kills him because his eye was closed. Now that the man was awake and his eyes were open he could not hold back, the Id took over because of the hatred the narrator had for...
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