The Insanity Of The Narrator In 'The Tell-Tale Heart'

Topics: The Tell-Tale Heart, Eye, Thought Pages: 5 (1160 words) Published: September 26, 2016


“The Tell-Tale Heart” is a short story told by a nameless narrator who is trying to convince us of his sanity while describing the murder he committed. From what I’ve read on websites, I’ve found that there is a lot of controversy on whether or not the narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” is insane. I had a few friends read the story, so that they could tell me their thoughts. To my surprise, more than half of them thought he was sane in the head! To me, it was so obvious that the narrator was insane and I’m going to give some strong evidence as to why I think this.
First, let’s just analyze the story. At the beginning the narrator says that he can hear all things in heaven and in earth and that he has heard many things in hell, but a sane person definitely could not do that. He loved the old man and said that there was no passion or reasoning for killing him, besides his eye. He describes it as “the eye of a...

A telltale is something that reveals information, so just from looking at the title we can come to the conclusion that the heart is an indicator for something. In fact, it’s the only reason that the narrator was caught by the police. He was confident that he had convinced them of his innocence and they were just sitting around chatting of “familiar things”. As they were talking, the narrator starts to hear a feint sound from under the floor boards, much like “a watch makes when enveloped in cotton”. I don’t believe that there was a physical heart beating underground, but rather a symbol for the narrator’s guilt. The longer the police stayed around, the more nervous he got, and consequently the sound grew louder. I know that when I’m nervous that my heart tends to beat very rapidly, so I think it could have been his own heart beat that he was hearing. Anyhow, we see how emotionally unstable this man is by the way his emotions change on a dime from being calm to reverting back to his nervous...
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