The Tell-Tale Heart: Insanity

Mystery in Literature

“And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? … -no, no! They heard! They suspected! They knew! – they were making a mockery of my horror! … Any thing was more tolerable that this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! – and now – again! – hark! louder! louder! louder!  louder!” (Poe 306)

In this near closing passage of the text, I feel like Poe uses the semantics, diction, and punctuation of the English language in order to portray the mental state of the first-person character. Previously in the text, Poe primarily uses commonly structured sentences in order to portray the insanity of the main character. For example, in the main character’s effort to convince the reader that he is perfectly sane, in the very beginning of the text he states…

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