About The Tell-Tale Heart

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What can the narrator use as defense for his/her crime? Is there any?

-- Anonymous, March 20, 2000


As far as a legal defense, he's in trouble. He says himself that he is not mad or insane, so that theory is out too. However, not many mentally insane people realize that they are mad. For him to kill the old man simply because his eerie eye bothered him is a rather selfish motive. This leads me to believe that he was indeed unbalanced if he could kill someone who he admittedly liked and had never done anything wrong to him. So the narrator was either a total wacko or he is a heartless, self-serving individual who killed the old man simply because the vulture eye urked him.

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2000

I disagree. The man WAS insane. Fixating his OWN fears of death on another mans deformity. He couldn't "accept" either of them. The HEARTBEAT is nothing more than his own pounding anxiety. Guilt, although I fist thought was the cause, does not play a role in the confession. He still hears the impending death...thus revealing his crime as a way to expel it.

Just my thought. Presumed Insane, I imagine.

-- Anonymous, July 12, 2000

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