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Short Story Literary Analysis - Essay Example

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In this short story, written by Edgar Allan Poe, the unnamed narrator attempts to convince the audience that he is sane, and describes a murder he committed. He murdered an old man because he did not like the appearance of his eye, which he described as being ‘horrible.’…
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Short Story Literary Analysis Essay
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Download file to see previous pages This character is a deranged, nervous and mentally disturbed individual living in denial.
First, the character is a deranged person with a wild and weird world view. In the story, he acknowledges that he loved the man and was not greedy for his wealth. However, he disliked one of the man’s eyes that “resembled that of a vulture”, and therefore wanted to separate the man from the evil eye. In order to achieve this, he has to kill the old man (Poe, 75). Clearly, readers can see a man who has a completely weird view of life. To him, killing the man is the only way to free him from the evil eye. This does not speak of a well reasoning person as he claims to be. The narrator fails to realize that by killing the man, he not only gets rid of the eye but also ends the life of the old man. By taking the old man’s life, the narrator does not spare him the burden of guilt as he perversely assumes. In this case, the narrator sees the old man’s eye to be completely separate from him. Had the narrator been reasonable enough, he would have understood the implications of his intended actions.
Secondly, although the character attempts to convince to the readers that he is sane, his actions and reasoning tell a different story. He is mentally disturbed. Throughout the story, the narrator denies that he is mentally ill, and therefore believes his actions are justified. For example, in the opening sentence, the narrator admits that he is “very, very dreadfully nervous” but claims that he does not understand why he is thought of as mad (Poe, 74). He believes that he had a disease that had sharpened his senses, especially that of hearing. He does not attribute his behavior to madness but to heightened senses. He failed to connect the hypersensitivity to madness. Unfortunately, as noted in the annotation by the New York University (2004), in his attempt to prove his sanity, readers are able to see that the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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