In "The Tell-Tale Heart," what is the plot of the story?Exposition, complication, crisis, climax, and resolution.

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The major plot points in Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" are as follows:

The exposition of the story is at the beginning when the narrator describes his acute sense of perception to the audience.  From this, the reader begins to consider that the narrator is actually mad.  The story gains its complication or rising action as the narrator plots ways to get back at the old man and his hideous eye.  The story gains suspense as the course of a week goes by and the eye drives the narrator increasingly mad.  The crisis or major conflict occurs when the narrator kills the old man, buries him under the floor boards, and then believes that he can hear the heart beating.  The narrator has much inner guilt over his actions.  The climax or turning point of the story occurs when the police arrive and the narrator tears up the floor boards because he believes that the heart beat is audible.  The story ends with the resolution that the narrator sort of "admits" his guilt by revealing his crime.