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Subject The Tell-Tale Heart
Posted by Christin
Posted on Tue Nov 14 12:27:51 2000
From IP c440-37.svdcc.fju.edu.tw  

Oedipus Complex in :The Tell-Tale Heart;
  Edgar Allan Poe used the first person point of view to describe this horrible murder to the readers. Actually, the feeling of reading this story would be more like watching a real scary movie because through the narrator・s vivid description, all the audiences could see the clear steps of this planned murder; just like we were involved in and watched the narrator killing the old man in front of us.
  Obviously, though the I-narrator kept saying that he was not mad as we :will; think after reading the story, he was somehow neurotic like. I think that the narrator belonged to the group of neuroses who behaved in disorder. In the story we could see clearly about his anxiety, insecurity, depression and unreasonable fear to his master, or his father・s pale, blue and evil eye. And it seemed to me that the link between his inner world and the external world was broken so that he tried to build up a new one, which was an illusion reality.
  In my opinion, the beating heart was kind of a symbol that both keeping the unconscious desire from coming out and expressing the unconscious desire covertly. In other words, the narrator was committing a crime, which could let his unconscious desire out of him, in a very conscious situation, and we could prove this point by seeing his words that he strongly aimed that he was not mad.
  On the other hand, according to Freud, the core of neurosis is Oedipus complex. Maybe the protagonist didn・t overcome the Oedipus complex successfully in his childhood. To me, I would have that kind of feeling that he was transferring his love to hatred. He actually had some kind of desire to the old man, however, the evil eye, which may represent the testicle, forced him to push his desire into his deep heart. It seemed that the protagonist may have some problem with gender identify. He loved the old man, but at the same time, the old man・s authority forbade him to show his desire. Then the conflict between the id (his unconscious desire) and the ego (to hide the not-permitted emotion) had come out. Also, I think this neurosis may have something to do with the unsatisfaction of the anal state, which led him to overcontrol his aggression. And finally, I think the policemen in the story are hints of the super ego, the social rules that made the protagonist confess at the end.


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