Poe's Short Stories
Murder and Mental Breakdown in "The Tell-Tale Heart" and The Picture of Dorian Gray 12th Grade
Dr. James Knoll, a forensic psychiatrist, says, “The paranoia exists on a spectrum of severity. ... Many perpetrators are in the middle, gray zone where psychiatrists will disagree about the relative contributions of moral failure versus mental affliction." Dr. Knoll mentions that, in murderers, the line that defines their motives tends to be rather grey. Both Dorian Gray of the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and the narrator in "The Tell-Tale Heart" harbor serious psychological, eventually leading them to murder; the motives behind their actions have similar roots: insanity. Dorian Gray and the Tell-Tale Heart narrator both have paranoia and progressively become mentally worse over time, showing the grey area of moral versus mental issues.
The Picture of Dorian Gray paints a very vivid succession of events that shows a young man’s complete transformation from innocence to corruption. Dorian Gray’s journey towards depravity is clearly outlined in the novel: starting with his initial contact with the real world and ending with him having murdered a friend and then killing himself (Wilde 21, 229). Dorian is not born with a damaged soul, in fact, he creates it himself, “If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture...
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