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In almost no cases does he respond in the manner that one would expect.He is so bothered by the old man's vulture-like eye that his loathing overcomes his love for the man, leading him to premeditate a murder.
Before beginning his account, the unnamed narrator claims that he is nervous and oversensitive but not mad, and offers his calmness in the narration as proof of his sanity.
He then explains how although he loved a certain old man who had never done him wrong and desired none of his money, the narrator could not stand the sight of the old man's pale, filmy blue eye.
However, a likely logical explanation is that when the protagonist is under stress, he hears the sound of his heart, "a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes enveloped in cotton," and he mistakes it for the sound of the old man's heart.
This lack of understanding parallels his lack of awareness of his actions as he chats with the policemen and highlights the lapses in reason which belie his claims of sanity.
Because he cannot maintain the distance between reality and his inner thoughts, he mistakes his mental agitation for physical agitation and misinterprets the innocent chatter of the policemen for malevolence.
The Tell Tale Heart Plot Essay
Nevertheless, he imagines the whole time that he has correctly and rationally interpreted all the events of the story, suggesting that in Poe's mind, the key to irrationality is the belief in one's rationality.
When the narrator stops hearing the beating, he examines the corpse before dismembering it and concealing it beneath the floorboards.
He laughs somewhat hysterically as he describes how the tub caught all the blood, leaving no stains on the floor.
The narrator invites them inside, knowing that he has nothing to fear, and he explains that he had been the one to yell as a result of a bad dream and that the old man is currently out visiting the country.
He shows the policemen the house and confidently allows them to search it before bringing out chairs which he, in his assurance, places on top of the floorboards that hide the corpse.