The reason for the crime lies solely in the narrators

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even says that he "loved" the old man. The reason for the crime lies solely in the narrator's disturbed mind. Two major traits that the narrator has that drives the plot are pride and guilt. He thinks he is smart enough to get away with murder. Pride is the traditional flaw of a tragic hero. It is clear that the narrator takes pride in the way he has committed what appears to him to be the "perfect" murder. He says that there was no blood at all, because he "had been to wary for that. A tub had caught all--ha! ha!" His arrogance and the way he gloats at his intelligence leads him to talk to the men right above the body. Lastly, guilt is what really ruins him. He is so riddled with guilt over his actions that he hallucinates the beating of the heart under the floorboards. If you were to ask him if he actually felt guilty, he would probably say no, and he doesn't seem to show remorse. The psychological answer would be that he has buried the guilt in his sub consciousness and that the beating heart is the physical expression of this suppressed emotion. The conciseness of the story and its intensity all contribute to the total impact and the overall effect and emotion it leaves its reader. In the narrator's belief that he is not 2
Dudley mad, but that he actually heard the heart of the old man still beating, Poe has given us one of the most powerful examples of the capacity of the human mind to deceive itself and then to speculate on the nature of its own destruction. 3

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