The madness of the human mind could be defined as an evident inability to construct perception of reality based on observations and reasoning. Insanity could be a form of obsessive fixation on some perception, or it could manifest in a form of inability to maintain order in mental activities.
Insanity is basically an “unhealthy operation of the mind” and could be defined as an incapacity to formulate thoughts and perceptions based on contact with reality.
The perceptions of sanity and insanity during the 19th century are explored in the short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, which revolves around the narrator of the short story that tries to prove that he is not insane by recounting the carefully planned murder he has committed.
The style of writing of the short story appears fragmented, because comments, repetitions, and explanations sometimes get inserted in the middle of a sentence. “I undid the lantern cautiously - oh, so cautiously - cautiously (for the hinges creaked)”.
This style of writing draws attention to the lines, brings the reader clarification, and also strengthen the message the text is trying to portray, or it can help convey the madness of the narrator.
The text features very little dialogue and it is mostly written as a monologue, but it also occurs in form of a confession where the narrator is looking back on past events.
“’Villains!’ I shrieked, ‘dissemble no more! I admit the deed! - tear up the planks! Here, here! - It is the beating of his hideous heart!”.
The narrator only reports the conversations between himself and the other characters, but it is only a few where the full dialogue is presented, this can especially be read when the narrator describes a dramatic situation. In some sentences specific words are written in italics.
“I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye - not even his - could have detected any thing wrong”.10 The italic in the sentence is used to emphasize suggest the narrator’s desperation.
In the text, we also see similes where the narrator compares one thing with another thing of a different kind. “His room was as black as pitch”11 The narrator’s use of simile gives a very clear image of the atmosphere by making a comparison between the pitch and the darkness of the narrator’s room. The use of a simile makes the description more empathic or vivid.