In the Tell Tale Heart, what are the seven steps that the narrator takes to get rid of the old man?

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cburr eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The 7 steps you are asking about could refer to the 7 nights when the narrator visited the room before the night when he killed the old man.

Each night at midnight, he very stealthily opened the old man's door -- very, very slowly so he wouldn't awaken.  Over the course of an hour he worked his head through the slightly opened door just enough to see the old man lying in bed.  Then he would cautiously open the cover on the lantern just enough to let a single ray of light hit the man's "evil" eye.   On every one of those 7 nights, he found the old man's eye closed, and so couldn't kill him.

Probably a better answer is to sort the events of the 8th night into 7 steps taken in actually getting rid of him.

First, he entered the room.

Second, he accidently made a noise that scared the old man.

Third, he shined the light on his eye.

Fourth, he dragged him to the floor.

Fifth, he covered him with the heavy bed.

Sixth, when the old man was dead, he dismembered the corpse.

Seventh, he hid the pieces under the floor boards.

Read the study guide:
The Tell-Tale Heart

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