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The Tell-Tale Heart


The Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart

Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" is a classic horror story that has captivated readers for generations. With its chilling narrative and unreliable narrator, the story presents a unique opportunity for students to explore the complexities of human psychology and the power of storytelling. This blog post presents a study guide for "The Tell-Tale Heart" designed for students and educators alike. The study guide provides a comprehensive analysis of the story's themes, characters, and literary techniques, as well as discussion questions and writing prompts to encourage critical thinking and engagement. Through this study guide, students can deepen their understanding of Poe's masterful storytelling and the psychological underpinnings of the story's narrator. Our hope is that this study guide will be a valuable resource for educators teaching Poe's work and for students seeking to enhance their literary analysis skills.

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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