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Discuss The Presentation of Madness in “The Fruit at The Bottom of The Bowl” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”

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Wider Reading Coursework Discuss The Presentation of Madness in "The Fruit at The Bottom of The Bowl" and "The Tell-Tale Heart" "The Fruit at The Bottom of the Bowl" ("The FBB") and "The Tell-Tale Heart" ("The TTH") are both short stories that include madness, murder and mad killers getting caught. Both stories are written at different periods of time. "The FBB" was written in the twentieth century. This is indicated by the reference to the type-writer keys, "...who's fingers had stroked type writer keys,..." and also by the reference of the airport. Both of these were not available before the twentieth century. "The TTH" was written in the pre-twentieth century. The language used throughout the story, such as "vexed" and "hearken", indicates this. Both of the stories are presented as a short story which has a specific purpose in keeping the reader focused on what is actually happening in the plot and to keep the reader more interested rather than talking about thoughts and ideas that are irrelevant to the story and are which sometimes explored in novels. "The TTH" is a bout a man who is mad, but he does not recognise this in himself. He kills an old man of whom he says he loves because of his eye, by suffocating him with a bed. ...read more.


and "would a madman have been so wise as this?" This is different to the "The FBB" because as said above, Acton is aware that he has done something wrong. In both stories the madmen see and hear things, but more so in "The TTH". The first bit of evidence of this in "The TTH" is when it says, "I heard many things in hell." and "I found that the noise was not within my ears." This behaviour continues until the end of the story. In "The FBB", the madman sees things to a lesser extent, "There was a spot on the wall behind him. Well wasn't there?" In "The TTH", the madman is also deluded, "I chuckled at heart." From this I could see that "The TTH" is more psychotic than neurotic and "The FBB" shows some characteristics of a psychotic madman, but he mainly a neurotic madman. The psychotic madness in each story make the madmen out to be sick and twisted and it creates tension in the atmosphere as the reader would think that it is a really sick motive for murder, especially in the "The TTH", just because "one of his eyes resembled that of a vulture..." ...read more.


This obsessive and compulsive behaviour results in Acton being caught at six thirty in the morning. They found him "in the attic... He was half way through the attic when the Police Officer walked up behind him with a gun". He was then arrested. To the reader, this shows irony because Acton is so obsessed with cleaning he had forgotten to leave the scene of the crime which is what he had planned to do right at the beginning, "Rush, get away, run, never come back...get the blazes out of here!" Both stories show the madness as clearly as each other. I know this because throughout the essay, I have clearly stated the madness and different types of madness in both stories. Both of the murders in each story present their madness in a different way. In "The TTH", it is as if he is already in an asylum and he is trying to convince everyone that he is not really mad. I can tell this from the title "The Tell-Tale Heart", I can also tell this because he is constantly defending his madness, "Why will you say that I am mad?" In "The FBB" it clearly shows his madness straight away as he thinks that he has made Huxley better by having killed him, "on a whole, the change had done Huxley a share of good. Death had made him a handsomer man..." ?? ?? ?? ?? Marya Sultani ...read more.

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