Compare and Contrat the "Tell tale Heart" written by Edgar Allen Poe, and "Vandals" written by Alice Munro.

Essay by kate189College, UndergraduateA-, April 2004

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"The Tell-Tale Heart" (1843) written by Edgar Allan Poe, and "The Vandals" (1994) written by Alice Munro are two gothic short stories which deal with inexplicable, psychotic behaviours. In the first story, "The Tell-Tale Heart", an insane man kills and dismembers an old man for no sane, explainable reason. In "The Vandals" a young womans childhood is catapulted into the future, where the reader is left in the dark about the reasoning for her outrageous behavior. From the paranoid, intense tone in " The Tell Tale Heart", to the more sedate, mundane tone of the "Vandals" we can see that "gothic" behaviors and elements exist in both stories, yet each represents a different point in the development of the genre.

Pychotic behaviours exist in both stories. In "The Tell Tale Heart", where the pychotic behaviours are more profound and noticeable, to the internal pychological difficulties experienced by Liza in the "Vandals".

The reader can immediately detect that the narrator in "The Tell Tale Heart" is insane, as he attempts to convince the audience otherwise:

True!-- nervous-- very, very nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses-- not destroyed-- not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily-- how calmly I can tell you the whole story. (Poe 19)

The narrator is aware of his pychological problems, and his attempts to convince the reader otherwise just confirms our asumptions. Even his illogical reasoning for the death of the old man gives the audience insight to how insane this man really is. He even admitted...