The Tell Tale Heart, by Edgar Allan PoeI am asked to find the topic, major details and important minor details, but I am having trouble in this story because it talks about killing a man just...

The Tell Tale Heart, by Edgar Allan Poe

I am asked to find the topic, major details and important minor details, but I am having trouble in this story because it talks about killing a man just because of his Evil Eye.I really dont understand this story. Can someine plz help me?

Expert Answers
coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Tell Tale Heart is a story partly about madness - and that is always hard for sane people to understand! - particuarly when it is as macabre and full of suspense as Poe makes it sound. briefly and basically (so you can go read it again) it's about a person who carefully schemes to kill someone who has a bad eye. Gruesomely, the murderer chops up the victim's body and stashes the body parts under the floor. Then, as in Macbeth, the madness starts to set in, as the killer thinks he hears noises from the victim under the floor. They sound like a clock.....or even worse...a heartbeat! What you probably might not understand (like any normal person nowadays) is why someone would want to kill a person because of a disfigurement. Consider the possibilities, and look for evidence of these on your own in the story - as major or minor details:

1. Superstition - ancient uneducated people often associated 'strange' differences as signs of malice or evil(ie witches.)

2. Fear - this may have made them ostracize or kill the 'odd one out'

3. Preservation - even some kinds of animals sadly kill injured or malformed specimens of their own kind.

Was the killer mad/paranoid before or after the crime - or both?

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question