Fear: Not a Mindset a State of Being

“Fears are nothing more than a state of mind.”   Great American author Napoleon Hill made this statement without taking into consideration, the mind of a gothic writer. Edgar Allen Poe, one of the most famous gothic writers, created characters whose state of minds were askew. The mental deformities that Poe places in his characters make their horrific actions seem; normal, frequent, and justifiable. Poe’s writing style completely contracts Hill’s belief that fear is a state of mind. Poe plays with the idea that fear is not a mindset; it is a state of being. This statement reflects Poe’s short stories and the characters he creates.
“The Tell-Tale Heart” exposes in copious amounts the side effects of a man whose state of being in fear and horror. The nameless main character recounts the story of how he killed an old man because his eye bothered him. He begins his story by defending his actions before, recounting the story to the reader. He states, “TRUE! Nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you say that I am mad?... How then am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story.” (Poe 95) The first side effect of a “mad man” that Poe exposes is the idea that defense is the best offense. The character feels he must justify what he did with a clear reason for his actions. The second hint Poe gives his when the main character exposes to the reader why exactly he wants to kill the old man, “I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture -- a pale blue eye with a film over it.” (Poe 95) The peculiar reasoning behind the murder gives the reader an unsettling feeling.
As the story progresses the narrator becomes loquacious giving almost a play by play of his actions towards the old man. For seven straight days the narrator stuck to a quotidian cycle of...