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The Tell Tale Heart - How Effective do you find the Presence of Madness?

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The Tell Tale Heart How Effective do you find the Presence of Madness? This story is in the first person narrative, and so instantly makes the events he is describing unreliable, as in a mad mans head things may be drastically different from reality. This also makes us question whether he is really insane as he seems to try to prove that he is not, so well, that we begin to believe him. And we also begin to feel almost sorry for the main character, not so much the old man, because we get to know more about him. He constantly undermines himself, and the first instance of this is that he does not seem to actually want to kill the old man, as he tell us that he "loved the old man" and that the old man had "never wronged me". Yet, he still commits the deed. ...read more.


Young children don't know the difference between right and wrong, and also they don't have a good concept of time, in relation to their young age. He says that "for a whole hour I did not move a muscle", which to a normal human is pretty much impossible, so what he thought was an hour, could have been only a few minutes. Other evidence towards this is that throughout the whole "hour" he said that the old man was "sitting up in the bed, listening," which is not normal, as people who are woken by noises in the night, usually go back to sleep fairly quickly. The only reason we see for murder is that he does not like the old mans "Evil Eye" which is given capital letters as if it was the name he had given it. This seems like a very odd motive for murder, but that makes him seem all the more insane, to personify one eye with a cataract. ...read more.


Unstable people are often very paranoid, and that is probably what makes him think that it is the old mans heart. And this paranoia is what makes him admit it to the police in the end. This end paragraph, is the climax of the tension that has built up throughout the story, with the short sentences, and repetition. In the last paragraph, the build up of tension is carried by the noise of "the heart", and he uses excessive amounts of capital letters and dashes during this. The last sentence makes a quick build up to the climax and he uses a lot of punctuation "I must scream or die! - - and now - - again - - hark! louder! louder! louder! LOUDER!" and then he admits to the police The presence of madness is very effective, and very obvious in this story, even though we do not hate this character. We almost feel sorry for him, with his innocent paranoia eating away at him, and his childlike persona. Alice Heggie 11e/11g4 ...read more.

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