Have you ever been in the mind of a murderer? It’s undeniable that every person capable of independent thoughts has at least once in their life considered just the possibility of murder. In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” we are introduced to a mentally deranged murderer and establish an acquaintanceship with his neurotic behaviour and need to prove his sanity.
The story deals with this alleged madman and how his distorted perspective and intense paranoia dominates his every action, leaving him in guilt adding to his monomaniacal persona.
The sole purpose of the mad man being the first-person narrator is for him to convince the reader of his sanity. “TRUE! –nervous –very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?” (p.1). Even though the man has killed someone he still proclaims that he is sane.
He relies on the erroneous assumption that mad men know nothing and therefore justifies his sanity by telling how meticulous caution was put into the murder, which he seems to be proud of. He as a character contradicts himself, when trying to convince the reader. He unintentionally unmasks himself, making it gradually more obvious that he is indeed mad