The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

Guilt can reveal a person’s madness. In the beginning of “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, the mad man, the narrator, calmly tells the reader of how he killed his boss, the old man. Throughout the story, the mad man becomes enraged by his boss’ eye since it looks like a “vulture’s eye” that always watched him. He is also angered by the heartbeat of the old man’s heart. The narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” evolves hiding his insanity to revealing his madness to the reader.

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At the beginning of the short story, the mad man seems to have everything under control. The text states, “Hearken! And observe how healthily, how calmly I can tell you the whole story” (Poe 1); this line shows how he believes that he is healthy, and that he only has sharpened senses. Poe writes, “And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it- oh so gently!” (4). He begins to become crazier than what he was in the beginning. Clearly, he tries to convince the reader that he is a normal person because he is in control.

By the end, he begins to reveal his madness. Poe also writes, “With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. “He shrieked once-only once”(13). In this line, the mad man finally kills his boss because the old man’s eye and heart drove the narrator insane. Finally, he shows the murder that he committed to the police officers at the mansion. The guilt gets to him. Because of this, he couldn’t hold his madness in anymore, and he just snaps.

Throughout “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator’s insanity develops more and more. He goes from wanting to tell a story to killing his boss and exposing the murder to the police officers. Guilt can cause you to do things that you will regret.

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