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As one strives to achieve his or her own personal goals, setbacks are inevitable. The person may have a strong ambition to accomplish these goals, sometimes where normal rules and right and wrong rarely apply. With this in mind, drastic measure’s are taken in Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” where a man is haunted by an elderly man’s “vulture eye”. The man’s main objective is to get rid of the eye that haunts him to tears and not get caught.
The setting is a house where the mad man and the old man live. We suspect that they get along well since they live together. The only thing in the way of this “friendship” is the presence of the old man’s “evil eye”. The mood is like any other Poe story, dark, calm, this intensifies the suspense of the reading. The Point of view is through the eyes of the Narrator, a very disturbed man, who tells us that he is always nervous, and its the nervousness that sharpened his senses.
From the start of our story the Narrator insisted that he isn’t crazy, statements such as this ‘”why will you say that I am mad?”,’ having the reader thinking that he is indeed mad. Why would a person ask if they are mad or not? We learn that this man is terrorized by an elderly man’s “evil eye”. The narrator states ‘”I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture — a pale blue eye with a film over it.”‘ With a glimpse of this man eye makes the madman’s blood turn cold. Eventhough the old man never harmed him in anyway, his eye drives the narrator crazy. The madman quickly describes how he tried to rid himself of the old man, ‘”I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye for ever”‘. ‘” I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him”‘, the old man would have never seen his demise coming. ” You should have seen how wisely I proceeded — with what caution — with what foresight, with what dissimulation….”. This guy knows what he is doing, the old man should have suspected something since the narrator was being unusually nice to him.
It’s that fact that the hideous eye that haunts the narrator, he says that for seven nights he would go into the old mans room and attempt to kill him, but he found that he could not do the deed because the troublesome eye would always be closed. Finally on the eighth night, the storyteller snuck through the mans room, but this time the old man startled awake since he heard someone or something in his room. The old man never lies back down because he can feel a presence around him, he sits up for a whole hour because he cannot rest until he knows what’s among him. So with terror raging through his body, the old man cannot sleep.
The turning point of the story has to be when the storyteller finally realizes that he cannot take it anymore, the obsession of the old man’s eye take’s control of his rage, and in a fit of anger and lunacy he finally kills the old man. But he doesn’t stop there, he makes sure to never see the old mans eye again, so he cuts up the mans body, and stores him under the floor boards perfectly. The man stays cool, calm, and collected for a portion of the day, however when the police show up the mans confidence in getting away with this crime is very high. While the police searched and didn’t find anything, the narrator gets very flustered, it is his conscience playing with his mind, he feels a heart beating. Its hard to say if the man knows it is his own heart beating or if he thinks its the old mans heart still alive, but one thing is for sure, he cannot take the pressure. It is odd because he had the perfect crime, the police didn’t find anything, he was practically in the clear, and then his mentality goes out the window, and while the Police men were chatting the man goes into an out roar saying that he did indeed kill the old man.
So the madman rids himself of the old man’s eye, he will no longer be haunted, but maybe he could still be haunted because if he was caught by the Police, he may stay in jail for the rest of his life, and the reminder of why he is in jail or a mental asylum will always be the old man and his pale blue eye.