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The Narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart”
The narrator’s proclamations about himself make me view him as a psychopath. The narrative is driven by the narrator’s insistence on his sanity and not innocence. In his attempt to prove his sense of sanity, the narrator admits murdering the old man. The denial of the narrator’s insanity is based on his precision and systematic actions as he gives a rational explanation for his irrational behavior. He seems to be completely friendless and alone in the world and cannot differentiate between ‘real’ and ‘unreal.’ He also does not explain why he does not reveal his name or other identifying characteristics. The narrator wants the audience to know what he did to the old man but not where to find him which is typical of lunatics and psychopaths.
The relationship between the two characters is unclear except that the old man lives with the narrator. The murderer denies having feelings of resentment of hatred for the old man who he states has never wronged him. The narrator also denies that he murdered for greed. A specific motive for that murder apart from the narrator’s dislike of the eyes of the old man is not disclosed which makes their relationship unclear. It can only be speculated that the victim is a father figure, perhaps the narrator’s master. The narrator may also be the servant of the victim. To a greater extent, the two characters can be said to be different in one …
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