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Explanations For One's Mad Acts Essay

642 words - 3 pages

Explanations For One's Mad Acts.
Through one of Edgar Allen Poe's shortest stories, "The Tell-Tale Heart" delves into the mind of an unknown narrator as she self destructs before the reader. The narrators expressive struggle between her denial of insanity and guilt throughout the story proves that her own villainy overpowers her own thoughts. As the story is viewed through the psychoanalytical "lens" one sees that the narrator does have many strange mental symptoms and conditions. She tells us that she does have a disease affecting her mental process. She goes on by explaining that it has not dulled her senses, but sharpened them. The psychoanalyst sees her symptoms as results from conflicts that occurred through any stage of her development. Sigmund Freud describes he Psychoanalytic theory as the influence of the unconscious mind on behavior. (Thornton 1) The Narrators conditions will have a lifelong ...view middle of the document...

She feels that the only way to relieve herself of these memories is to remove the eye to never remind herself of the horror. She will demonstrate the sense of horror that had been distilled in her in the past.
The second theory behind the madness of the narrator is through one of the proposed theory of Sigmund Freud. Sigmund Freud proposed that the Ego of a person balances the drives of the Id. The Id operates under the pleasure principle, meaning that it has no regard for reality, constraints, or consequences. (Freud, Sigmund 1) The problem that the narrator might have is that fact that her Ego hasn't developed correctly, where it doesn't balance the drives of the id. This forces the narrator to have an urge of power over the old man. The Id gives the narrator that sense that she laughs at the thought of killing the old man, for the fact that the old man will have a hard time defending himself in this situation.
Lastly the protagonist shows a sign of mental disarray though one of the stages proposed by Erik Erikson. This stage he calls the third psychosocial stage, referring to the developmental period of a toddler. Through this stage in development a toddler will begin to assert power and control showing initiative verses guilt. If this stage in development does not evolve adequately one will have the sense of guilt and self-doubt in his or her self. (Erikson 1) The narrator demonstrates this action so well by feeling the sense of guilt upon killing the old man, and the police knowing what she had done, so the narrator gives in, and confessed her actions.
Through the psychoanalytical theory, the narrator shows many signs of mental disparity throughout the rest of the story. She shows this through her conscious and unconscious mind. The psychoanalytical theory describes the mental reasoning behind most actions. If a stage in the developmental process is not complete, then the mind will be most vulnerable to this stage. No one is perfect, anyone could be vulnerable to any stage of the developmental process. When you are trying to look at the reasoning behind one's actions, one should always look into the psychoanalytical lens first.


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