How Does Edgar Allen Poe Create a Feeling of Madness Throughout "the Tell-Tale Heart"?

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Edgar Allen Poe was an American Writer who wrote within the genre of horror and science fiction. He was famous for writing psychologically thrilling tales examining the depths of the human psyche. This is true of the Tell-Tale Heart, where Poe presents a character that appears to be mad because of his obsession to an old mans, ‘vulture eye’. Poe had a tragic life from a young age when his parents died. This is often reflected in his stories, showing characters with a mad state of mind, and in the Tell Tale Heart where the narrator plans and executes a murder. The Tell-Tale Heart is a horror story about a man who murders his landlord because of his pale blue ‘vulture eye’. Every night at midnight the murderer goes into the old mans room …show more content…
Firstly, this allows the reader to have access to the thought, plans and feelings of the narrator. However, this may mean that the story is one sided and biased, as the reader only gets the story from one persons view. Also, Poe may have chosen to write the story in first person so that the reader understands his madness clearer by the thoughts, and repeating words which the narrator does. Poe used the character effectively to make the story different and weird. Firstly, I noticed how the narrator has a rational approach to the murder, ‘I undid the lantern cautiously-oh, so cautiously-cautiously (for the hinges creaked)-I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye’. This makes the audience nervous, how he waits and watches the old man sleep; it makes the reader wonder what the narrator is going to do next. I also think this may be related to the obsession with the eye, and that the narrator feels he is always being watched by the ‘vulture eye’. So he goes in every night to see if it is watching him. I believe there is an element of irony, as the narrator feels he is being preyed on by the old man when in the end the old man is the prey of the narrator. Also, the character talks about the murder almost as work, ‘I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done.’ I think this emphasises how planned-out everything was, and that the eye took over his thoughts and his life. In

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