Lecture Notes on "Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe.

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"Tell Tale Heart" By Edgar Allen Poe

Lecture Notes - Psychoanalytic Approach

The story involves the Narrator and Narratee. It is being told to someone who thinks this person is mad. Someone who is approaching this person is expecting to deal with a madman (prison officer etc). The eye resembles a vulture. He took the life of the old man to relieve himself of the eye. The eye is an uncanny object. It is a blind eye that sees. The eye is linked to the super-ego, and it is under survellience. The eye splits off from the old man.

Bedroom: fancied infliction of pain. The Narrator identifies with the old man. He opens the dark lantern and lets forth a ray of light - this hits the eye of the old man. What is mistaken for madness is actually over-acuteness of the senses.

This is the classic structure of paranoia.

The Old man is killed with the bed. Oediple scenarios: The Old man is killed and the corpse is buried under the floor - boards. The police come and he confesses, no Old man is found. WAS THERE EVER AN OLD MAN?

The old man is a super-ego figure, and the story is about representation of a psychic predicament. For example...the eye represents the third eye.