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Word Count: 936
Inescapable Truth An Analysis of The Tell-Tale Heart Although during the first few lines of his story Poe suggests that his nameless narrator is mad a reader cannot fully assert this assumption until the madman explains his feelings toward the old man Poes first line even deviates the reader from a strong conclusion of insanity True--nervous--very very dreadfully nervous I had been and am but why will you say that I am mad Poe 36 However only when one understands that while the madman murdered the old man object there was none Passion there was none 36 one can deduct the validity of the mans lunacy Even more convincingly than his earlier words as an anonymous author explains for we might possibly think that someone who claims to hear things in heaven and in hell is a religious mystic the madmans preparations reveal him to be mad By Lantern Light 766 His subtle moves and extreme caution do not depict a sane character as the madman believes as it is common understanding that certain psychological disorders are characterized by an absurd extent of concern Again only through this connection can one be convinced of the madness lurking within the protagonists mind Yet the irony of the story truly comes to form once one realizes the unreliability of the first person narrator--a technique Poe used to achieve maximum efficiency in the shock value of The Tell-Tale Heart His meticulous preparations are not the only factor pointing to this untrustworthiness his belief of omniscience or in this case his belief that he knows exactly what the old man thinks also does I knew what the old man felt and pitied him although I chuckled at heart I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise when he had turned in the bed His fears had been ever since growing upon him He had been trying to fancy them causeless but could not
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