The narrators are victims of their obsessions, leading to an overruling of rationality and logic- a study of The Tell-Tale Heart and The Black Cat, by Edgar Allan Poe.
“The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Black Cat” are texts by Edgar Allan Poe showing the state of mind of a person who becomes corrupted from their obsessions. We see the changes in behaviour, like anxiety, that stem from their obsessions, causing the narrator to eventually self-destruct due to lack of rationality and logic. The critical texts ‘“The Black Cat” as a study in repression”, by Roberta Reeder, and “Psychoanalytical analysis of The Tell-Tale heart” support this hypothesis. Keith Paxton notices that the narrator is obsessed when the narrator claims “I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture- a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees- very gradually- I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever”, and Paxton observes in “The Tell Tale Heart” that “He is clearly obsessed with the eye and what it means to him and has no regard for the old man.” The narrator also could not perform the deed when his eye was open as he claims “I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his evil eye”. This shows the absence of logic, as he should surely know that the eye belongs to the same man, if closed or open, and that the magnitude of the murder would be the same. The obsession of the eye in “The Black Cat” stems from another obsession, that of alcohol, which contributes to changes in his personality. This causes him to evolve a hatred for the cat in a once mutually-affectionate relationship. This shows that repression had caused him to become paranoid and anxious. The narrator admits, “I grew, day by day, more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others. I suffered myself to use...
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