Stories of the Psychotic Personality: Introduction to "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Black Cat" Many of Poe's short stories treat the same type of phenomena, yet in fact, part of Poe's greatness lies in the diversity of his creativity, and everything he wrote carries with it the distinctive trademark that would identify it as being a work by Edgar Allan Poe. The stories in this section, likewise, are Poe's best examples of another type of story; these are tales of the psychotic personality, one who tries to give a rational explanation for his irrational and compulsive acts. In both stories treated here, the criminal is so completely occupied with his own mental state and in justifying his horrifying actions that the reader is not nearly as aghast at the horrors that the criminal perpetrates, as he is at the bizarre mental state of the criminal. The cruel acts performed by the criminal in both stories are de-emphasized in order to examine the mind of the criminal. In other stories, Poe creates a feeling of horror in the reader's mind by certain acts of cruelty: Here, the reverse is true; for example, the narrator's murder of his wife in "The Black Cat" occurs so suddenly that we hardly notice the horrible cruelty of the act. Instead, we note the mental state of the
This is the end of the preview. Sign up
access the rest of the document.
This note was uploaded on 01/12/2012 for the course ELIT 48A taught by Professor Juliepesano during the Fall '10 term at DeAnza College.