The Paper About “The Tell Tale Heart”

In the book “The Tell-Tale Heart” there was a man known as the narrator and his new founded friend known as the old man. Sadly, the narrator ends up killing the old man which leaves a question of whether or not the narrator is a madman or a calculated killer. This paper will explain why the narrator is a madman and not a calculated killer. Throughout the book, the narrator and the old man had been very good friends. The old man had never wronged him, and they were kind to one another. So, the final question left is why would the narrator plan out an attack on this old man if they were friends?

Throughout the book “The Tell-Tale Heart”, the narrator made friends with an elderly man and after some time the two had become best friends. The narrator in this story eventually killed the old man, but why would he kill his best friend? The narrator wrote, “Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire.” (74). This quote proves the point that the narrator had to have been a madman. He and the old man were good friends, and good friends do not just kill each other. A calculated killer kills because they do not like a person or the person might have done something bad to them but only a madman, someone who cannot think in a normal way, would ever kill their friend.

The reason that the narrator had killed his friend was because the old man’s eye was bothering him. After he had killed the man, it seemed like he really did not think about what to do after he killed him. The narrator dismembered the body saying,” “If you still think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First, I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs.” (76) After that he tried to hide the old man in the floor of the old man’s house. He wrote, “I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber and deposited all between the scantlings.” (77) He seemed happy with himself that he had been able to hide the body and clean up the mess, but it also seemed like he did not know what to do with the body and had not planned what to do next. Both a madman and a calculated killer are probably going to dismember a body but only a calculated killer would take the time to plan on somewhere to take the body. A calculated killer would know that they body would probably be found in the floorboards and would have had a better plan. This quote proves that if he was a madman and did not really think the entire plan through.

When the police had come to the house, the narrator had hidden the body. Later, when the police were wondering around the house investigating, the narrator started hearing a beat throughout the house and it started to drive him crazy. The beat kept continuing throughout the house, so the narrator had given himself up to the police and had showed them where the body was hidden. Why would a calculated killer give himself up to the police if he was trying to escape the police? The narrator says, “’Villains!’ I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! Tear up the planks! – here! – it is the beating of his hideous heart!” “(78). He had heard a beating heart that drove him to give himself up to the police. A calculated killer would not give himself up and feel bad about the murder of the old man. This man is a madman!

All this information has concluded that the narrator is a madman. When you are a calculated killer, you don’t hear a mans heart beat once you kill the person. As a calculated killer, you have everything planned and are ready to carry out your operation. Instead, this man did not have everything planned out, if he had, he would not have given himself up to the police. Although some people say that the narrator had to have been a calculated killer, they are wrong. There are too many things that do not add up and pieces of the puzzle that do not fit, the narrator is madman.