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Daniel Macomber Mrs Huffer ENC 1102-40037 July 10 2000 The Obsessive Compulsive Disorder of the Narrator in Edgar Allen Poes The Tell-Tale Heart Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is defined as an anxiety disorder in which a person suffers from obsessions andor compulsions Wood 407 In Edgar Allen Poes short story The Tell-Tale Heart the narrator shows signs of having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder when wakes up at midnight and ritualizes how he is going to kill the old man when he creates a personified image of the old mans eye and according to a critic Daniel Hoffman when he believes that the sound of his own heart beat is the old mans heart In the beginning of the story the narrator tells us that he has a disease The disease had sharpened my senses-not destroyed-not dulled them Poe 34 This disease that the narrator displays to us has characteristics in common with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder The narrator was persistent and went through a ritual every night to see if the old mans Eye was open or not A compulsion is defined as a persistent irresistible irrational urge to perform an act or ritual repeatedly Wood 407 He would get out of bed every night at midnight stand motionless and silent with his head in the doorway and take the lantern and open it ever so slightly to see if the Macomber 2 old mans evil eye was open Also every morning after he looked in on the old man he would go boldly into the chamber and speak courageously to him calling him by name in a hearty tone and inquiring how he had passed the night Poe 34 The steps the narrator took clearly show signs of him having a compulsion When the narrator personifies the old mans eye as being evil the narrator is having a persistent recurring involuntary image invade his conscious thought An
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