Tell-Tale Heart “TRUE!–nervous – very, very dreadfully nervous I ahd
been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?” Edgar Allan Poe shows us
the dark part of human kind. Conflict with in ones self, state of madness,
and emotional break down all occur within tis short story. The narrator of
the story is a mad man that is haunted by his idea that the old man has an
There are two conflicts that occur with the story: internal and
external; The internal conflict is the narrator’s guilt over killing the
old man forces him to believe that he hears the dead man’s heart beating.
“I talked more quickly-more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased”.
the external conflict is the eye itself; the narrator feels that the old
man’s eye is always watching him in turn makes him think he can read his
mind. “It was open – wide, wide open – and I grew furious as I gazed upon
it. I saw it with perfect distinctness – all a dull blue, with a hideous
veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones”. A madman can only
take so much when he ficated on an eye. State of madness is very implicit
in this case.
The fact that the narrator was way too overly patient and dedicated
to stalking the old man night after night, at midnight. Seven days before
he decides to commit his evil deed. Was obviously the act of a keen madman.
“Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust in! I moved it
slowly – very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man’s
sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far
that I could see him as he lay upon his bed”. The narrator keeps implying
that he is very, very dreadfully nervous. “I knew that sould well, too. It
was the beating of the old man’s heart. It increased my fury, as the
beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage”. This also gives us
the reader the hint of him being mad. When ones actions that are thought
out with knowing the harsh consequences are a key sign to madness.
Basically, what I think Edgar Allen Poe is trying to imply to us is
that everyone holds a little madness within and subconsciously. We must
fight the urge and accept it fully, to be excepter and considered normal.
Because everyone’s got to do it. The emotional feeling of the narrator are
those of the depressed. He is neither shy or outgoing. He thinks he is
skillful and not mad. “If you still think me mad, you will think so no
longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of
the body”. He states this because he is trying to persuade the reader into
thinking he’s smart. Therefore, making the reader come up with the idea how
could you be mad if you are smart. He does not seem to be caring, yet he
does state he lover the old man. “Object there was none. Passion there was
none. I loved the old man”. He is dishonest though for he wan’t going to
tell the police about the dead body until his subconsciout thoughts made
him believe that they also heard the horrifying heart beat of the old man.
Which caused his emotional breakdown.
Ones own subconscious mind could create emotions that can persuade
one to do deeds in which he/she never thought of. Either it be good or bad,
like the narrator’s feelings towards the old man’s eye. Emotions are those
not to be put aside or forgotten about. But should be dealt with and
conditioned to a norm. Mind over matter.