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The Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart

Edgar Allan Poe

Setting: A dark house, late at night 


The narrator in this story begins by telling readers that he is not insane. However, readers must wonder if he is telling the truth. He begins to describe his grisly murder of an old man. He lives with the old man, and the old man’s eye bothers him. The narrator compares the eye to a vulture’s eye. Because the eye becomes more and more annoying to the narrator, he decides to kill the old man. He visits the old man’s bedroom for seven nights in a row. On the eighth night, he kills him while the sound of the old man’s heart beats loudly in his ears. He then hides the body under the floor. The police arrive to investigate. The narrator believes they will find nothing. Later, as he and the police talk, he begins to hear a muffled sound.

Text Analysis 


Writers often “hook” readers by creating a sense of excitement, tension, dread, or fear about what will happen next. This feeling is called suspense. Techniques used by Edgar Allan Poe to develop suspense include: 

• describing a character’s anxiety or fear 
• relating vivid descriptions of dramatic sights and sounds 
• repeating words, phrases, or characters’ actions

Reading Skill 


Have you ever suspected someone was not telling you the truth? Just as you can’t trust every person you meet, you can’t believe all narrators, or characters who tell a story. To evaluate a narrator’s reliability, or trustworthiness, pay attention to his or her actions, attitudes, and statements. Do any raise your suspicions?

The Tell-Tale Heart Quiz

Mr. ‏El-Sayed Ramadan ‎ ‎


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