The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

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In "The Tell-Tale Heart," why does the narrator kill the old man?

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A very good question, and one which the narrator of the story cannot really answer, although it seems he has wrestled with it. Note that the narrator continually toys with, and then rejects, the idea that he is "mad," and that it is this "disease" that has led him to do what he has done. As a reader, we can determine that this is probably the case—after all, the narrator says there was no "object" to his killing of the old man, whom he loved, and he could not say when the thought first entered his mind. The only thing he can think is that the old man's pale, filmy, blue eye, which made him feel judged or unhappy whenever it landed upon him—he calls it the eye of a "vulture"—drove him to kill the old man. He couldn't stand being looked at by that terrible eye which made his "blood [run]...

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