The Dissent of Madness-Tell Tale Heart

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The Tell-Tale-Heart by Edgar Allen Poe The dissent of madness. It is for a multitude of reasons it is easy to decide that the narrator in Poe’s The Tell-Tale-Heart is a completely and utterly unreliable narrator. Any and all excuses he makes for himself are truly a joke, in that his madness is not only blatant (to any sane person),but his denial of his own madness is what makes his story and perception of the facts of the event unreliable. The narrator opens his rambling attempting to convince the reader that he is not mad but sharp witted. “TRUE!-NERVOUS-VERY, VERY dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses-not destroyed-not dulled them.” (1) Can anyone reading this honestly conclude anything else of the narrator but total madness? He continues with attempting to justify his action in murdering the old man by trying to convince the reader it isn’t that the narrator didn’t love or like the old man, but that the old man had an eye that drove him to it. “I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this!” (2) He goes on to describe the vexing evilness of the old man’s eye by elaborating: “He had the eye of a vulture-a pale blue eye, with 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.” (2) He goes on to calculate exactly how he was to kill the old man, and thus sinks deeper and deeper into the pool of madness he has waded into. He even describes the sense of power he feels, as if to say that only a sane person could feel this sort of exaltation over such a brutal plot. “Never, before that night, had I felt the extent of my own powers-of my sagacity. I could scarcely

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