The Tell-Tale Heart
By Edgar Allan Poe
The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe is narrated by a madman who is confessing to a murder. However, he is not telling us his deed because he feels remorse, but rather to prove he is not insane. The first sentence of the story says, "True!--nervous—very, very dreadfully nervous I have been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?" From the very beginning and throughout the story, the narrator insists that he is not mad. And to prove it, he talks about how carefully and cleverly he went about the murder he is now accused of.
The narrator is portrayed as having an obsessive personality through his motive to kill the old man. He admits he had no reason to kill him, but once the idea came to him, it haunted him. "It was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye." He then considers that his intention was to rid himself of the old man’s eye. He appears to be obsessed with the eye, as he decides that it was the very reason which drove him to the murder.
When the police arrive at the house with intent to search it, the narrator confidently leads the officers through the house, and finally brings them to the room in which he committed the murder and hid the body. He places several chairs over the floor boards which covered the dead body and asks them to sit. Nevertheless, as they begin chatting, he grows restless and wishes they would go. He becomes very anxious and begins to panic, thinking that police were making a mockery of his horror. Finally the narrator can stand no more, and the story ends as he rises from his chair shouting, "I admit the deed! –tear up the planks! Here, here! -- It is the beating of his hideous heart!"
Throughout the story, it is made obvious that the narrator suffers from some sort of a psychological disorder. He shows no remorse for his deed, which perhaps makes him a sociopath. He also seems to suffer from anxiety and his thoughts are much distorted. The...