Driven by passion or strong emotions rather than logic or reason

  • Obsession with the eye – “His eye was like the eye of a vulture, the eye of one of those
    terrible birds that watch and wait while an animal dies, and then fall
    upon the dead body and pull it to pieces to eat it.” “Then, carefully, I lifted the
    cloth, just a little, so that a single, thin, small light fell across that eye.
    For seven nights I did this, seven long nights, every night at midnight.” – he feels as though the eye is watching him, waiting for him to die (vulture)
  • Prove he’s sane – “Why do you say that I am mad? Can you not see that I have full control of my mind? Is it not clear that I am not mad?”
  • His guilt at the end when he can hear the heart – drives him to be careful

Contrasting qualities

  • Thoughtless and mindful – kills the old man for no reason but covers it up very carefully
  • Caring and barbaric – says he loves the old man then kills him and cuts him up

Foreshadowed by something negative 

  • “I heard sounds from heaven and sounds from hell” – negative connotations
  • “There was no reason for what I did” – if his actions were conducted without reason, they were unreasonable (negative)

Generally secretive, has an air of mystery

  • Gender remains hidden – personal pronoun is I
  • We know nothing of the protagonist background, we have no idea how he became ill or insane

Has a need to know 

  • Needs to know why we think he has lost control of his mind – constantly questioning us, he needs us to reassure him
  • needs to know understand the man or the eye – watches over him for 7 nights

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