Edgar Allen Poe: Tell Tale Heart Essay Example

In the short story “Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe, the narrator is sane. The protagonist is able to tell the difference between fantasy from reality and control his behaviors. The author gives many reasons to make the readers believe he is sane, based on a problem an insane person would have of telling the difference between fantasy from reality.

The narrator is sane because he can tell apart fantasy from reality. He is able to remember and tell the whole story with no hesitations. He screamed, “Hearken! And observe how healthily – how calmly, I can tell you the whole story” (Poe 104). He is fully aware of what he has done and vividly remembers his action. Most people who have gone insane don’t have a clear memory when a crime has taken place and, remembers that time period as a blur. Secondly, the narrator admits to the crime which also explains that he knows what he has done. He stated with a loud voice, ““Villains!” I shrieked. “ dissemble no more! I admit the deed! – tear up the planks! - here, here! – it is the beating of his hideous heart” (108). His conscience gets to him, which every person in their right state of mind has. It had built up inside his head, therefore making him seem insane when he revealed his reaction. The narrator is able to tell fantasy from reality based on the quotes provided, he was also able to control himself. 

The next two points that make the readers believe the narrator is sane is he is able to control his actions, and he wasn’t impulsive. He was able to keep an eye on the old man for a long period of time. The narrator stated, “This I did for long seven nights – every night just at midnight – but I found the eye closed” (105). The narrator was able to control his behavior when the old mans eyes were closed. If the old man hadn’t woken up that night, he wouldn’t have committed the crime that day. The narrator was also able to express his emotions throughout the story. He explained, “TRUE! -NERVOUS-VERY, very dreadfully nervous I had been” (104). He had stated how anxious he was, as he was telling the story to the readers and the thoughts that ran through his head leading up to the crime. Based on the narrator’s body language and thoughts, the narrator is not uncontrollable and impulsive. 

The narrator in the short story by Edgar Allen Poe is sane. The protagonist was aware of his actions and was able to tell apart fantasy from reality, and his actions were controllable and not impulsive. In conclusion, based on the quotes provided he was sane.



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