“TRUE!–nervous – very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?” Edgar Allen Poe shows us the dark part of human kind. Conflict with in ones self, state of madness, and emotional break down all occur within this short story. The narrator of the story is a mad man that is haunted by his idea that the old man has an evil eye.
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.”. Ones owns conscience can only take so much before the person breaks down. “Oh God! What could I do? I foamed—I raved—I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually 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 fixated 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 sound 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 excepted 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 your smart.
He does not seem to be caring, yet he does state he loved the old man. “Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man.” He is dishonest though for he wasn’t going to tell the police about the dead body until his subconscious thoughts made him believe that they too heard the horrifying heart beat of the old man. Which caused his emotional break down.
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 narrators 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.