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Madness in "The Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe
Transcript of Madness in "The Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe
Point of View
Poe uses point of view to demonstrate the main idea of madness. While the narrator was in the old man's room, he could tell that the man was terrified. The old man was terrified because he was worried someone was there to kill him. "I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him although I chuckled at heart." This relates to the central idea of madness because only a mad person would chuckle at someone's fear, right before they kill them.
Poe uses repetition to show how surprised the narrator was that the eye was open. After many long nights of sneaking into the old man's room, the eye was finally open. "It was open, wide, wide open, and I grew furious as I gazed upon it." The repetition helps show that the narrator was very surprised that it was open because it hadn't been open any of the other nights. This relates to madness because he "grew furious" when he saw the eye and normally people wouldn't grow furious about an eye.
Point of View
Poe uses point of view to emphasize the main idea of madness. The narrator was questioning why the readers think he is mad and trying to convince them that he isn't mad. "The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them." This helps develop the main idea of madness because no one knows what disease he is talking about, and the narrator is trying to convince the person he is talking to that he isn't mad but they haven't even said that he was yet.
Therefore, these text structures support the central idea of madness. The text evidence proves that the narrator is mad.
Madness is an important main idea of the story because the narrator's point of view is influenced by his madness. It also is important because even though he tells us he isn't mad, he kills someone! As if killing someone isn't mad enough, he killed the old man because he didn't like the man's eye.
Point of view supports the central idea of madness because the narrator is mad.
sneaking into his room
waiting an hour for the eye to open
shining a light directly on his eye
Repetition helps develop the idea of madness because it adds emphasis and drama to the narrators actions.
when he said the old man was dead
how loud the man's heart was
This relates to the main idea of madness because the narrator obviously has something wrong with him.
he gets mad about an eye