Books and Movies Reviews

Poe and Hitchcock

Edgar Allen Poe and Alfred Hitchcock have insane characters in their stories.Some examples are Edgar Allen Poe's William Wilson in "William Wilson," and the narrator of the "Tell-Tale Heart"; and Alfred Hitchcock's Bruno in Strangers on a Train. These characters have similar foundations for their unstable sanity; however, each character had his own peculiar motives which led to this unsound state-of-mind.
William Wilson appears what society deems "normal" in the beginning of the short story.He admits his faults in his "imaginative and easily excitable temperament" (pg. 66). He even begins his story by revealing remorse and shame for his past actions: "The fair page now lying before me need not be sullied with my real appellation," (pg. 66).These traits are those which characterize a "sane" mentality.The story goes on to describe the normal life of any boy away at school. Wilson gains the respect and admiration of others with his "ardor, enthusiasm and imperiousness" that are innate to popular and socially competent persons (pg. 70).However, when Wilson notices that there is one youth whom does not claim the admiration for Wilson as the others, Wilson becomes threatened. This Other person continually interferes with Wilson's life in an unwelcome manner.Although, Wilson admits to almost developing a friendship with him, he becomes so disturbed with the Other's interference, that in a rage, he murders him.
At this point, Wilson may be called insane for the brief moment he lost his hold on reality and killed attempted to kill what he believed was another living being-but there is yet an untold aspect of the role of the Other in Wilson's life.Wilson is not perceived as temporarily insane for a moment in rage, but as having a long-term illness. Wilson perceived the Other as almost a twin in resemblance and name: "I disc…

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