Questions and Answers for The Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart

What is the theme for “The Tell-Tale Heart?”

The inescapability of guilt is arguably the most important theme in “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Try as he might, the unreliable narrator is never able to escape his guilty conscience, as manifested by...

Latest answer posted December 9, 2020 11:00 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What are the exposition, rising action, climax, and falling action in "The Tell-Tale Heart"?  

The story's exposition is delivered within its first two paragraphs. Here, the narrator provides the background information that we need in order to understand the story—and his character—and this...

Latest answer posted November 21, 2020 2:32 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What are the two main symbols in the story "The Tell-Tale Heart"? What does each one represent? What is one other...

The two main symbols in the story are the old man’s eye and the narrator’s own heart. The narrator describes the old man’s eye as a “vulture eye,” associating it with death, as vultures feed on...

Latest answer posted November 20, 2020 3:18 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

In "The Tell-Tale Heart," is the narrator considered reliable or unreliable?

In Poe's celebrated short story "The Tell-Tale Heart," there is an abundance of evidence to suggest that the narrator is unreliable. From the start of the story, the narrator's sanity is called...

Latest answer posted December 20, 2020 11:06 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What are two metaphors and two similes in "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

Metaphors are authorial tools to highlight similarities between two things that cannot be literally compared. Similes are a subset of metaphors that specifically use "like" or "as" to make that...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2017 7:41 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

Why does the narrator of "The Tell-Tale Heart" wait till the eighth night to commit the murder? He watched him for...

The narrator waits until the eighth night to commit the murder of the old man because the old man's eyes were closed on the first seven nights. The narrator says that he creeps into the old man's...

Latest answer posted November 23, 2020 1:41 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What made the narrator confess his crime in "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

"The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe of course features an unreliable first person narrator who commits a crime that he feels compelled to confess at the end of the tale. We are presented with...

Latest answer posted January 23, 2011 7:08 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Tell-Tale Heart

In "The Tell-Tale Heart," what might the vulture's eye symbolize?  

In Edgar Allan Poe's classic short story "The Tell-Tale Heart," the old man's "vulture eye" doesn't symbolize the window of the soul of the old man whose eye it is, as might be expected, but...

Latest answer posted November 26, 2020 5:54 pm UTC

9 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What is the narrator's tone in "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

In Poe's celebrated short story "The Tell-Tale Heart," the unnamed narrator attempts to convince the audience of his sanity as he elaborates on his brutal crime. In the first paragraph of the...

Latest answer posted April 14, 2020 9:53 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

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

The narrator himself isn't entirely sure why he killed the old man. In fact, he begins by admitting that he isn't sure "how first the idea entered [his] brain." He goes on to concede that he loved...

Latest answer posted January 1, 2021 1:12 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

In "The Tell-Tale Heart," what is some evidence that the narrator is insane? 

One of the first pieces of evidence that indicates that the unnamed narrator is insane is his obsession with the old man's "vulture" eye. The narrator explains his reasoning by saying, Object...

Latest answer posted October 5, 2020 12:00 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What is the point of view of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

The point of view of this story is first person objective. This means that the narrator is a participant in the story and uses the first person pronoun "I." The "objective" portion of the label...

Latest answer posted October 1, 2016 12:16 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

Why does the narrator of "The Tell-Tale Heart" think that he is not mad? 

In Edgar Allan Poe's classic short story "The Tell-Tale Heart," the narrator believes, and wants the reader to believe, that he's not mad because he so perfectly calculated and carried out every...

Latest answer posted April 9, 2020 2:57 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

In "The Tell-Tale Heart", why does the narrator hear the heartbeat of the old man's heart so loudly? (when...

The beating heart is the manifestation of the narrator's guilt. He leads the police around with such an easy, open manner that they do not suspect him of the murder. He even has them sit in the...

Latest answer posted June 23, 2018 3:43 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

How did the old man die in "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

In "The Tell-Tale Heart," the old man is murdered by the narrator. This happens early in the story and the murder is premeditated, meaning that the narrator planned it. The motivation for the...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2017 9:53 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What is personification and how is it used in "The Tell-Tale Heart"? 

Personification is the literary device in which inanimate objects, ideas, and animals are given human attributes. Throughout the short story "The Tale-Tell Heart," Edgar Allan Poe uses...

Latest answer posted October 10, 2017 6:35 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What two character traits does the narrator demonstrate in "The Tell-Tale Heart"?  

Two traits of the narrator are insanity and paranoia. That the narrator is insane is very clear. You can tell he is insane because he thinks that his roommate has an evil eye. Then he kills him....

Latest answer posted June 19, 2016 5:08 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Tell-Tale Heart

What is the tone/mood of "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

The overarching sense of anxiety and nervousness characterizes the tone and mood in the atmosphere of "The Tell-Tale Heart." The narrator begins the story by trying to convince the reader that he...

Latest answer posted January 10, 2016 4:36 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Tell-Tale Heart

What types of conflict are in "The Tell-Tale Heart" and how are they resolved?   

There are several conflicts in Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Tell-Tale Heart." Let's examine them: The first conflict is both external and internal. The narrator begins the story by asking the...

Latest answer posted July 31, 2016 4:30 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

In the story "The Tell-Tale Heart," is the narrator insane? Does his insanity as evidence that he is not guilty of...

There is insanity, and there is criminal insanity. The narrator of this story is clearly delusional, having hallucinations, and out of touch with reality as we understand it. He tries to explain...

Latest answer posted January 9, 2019 12:57 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What is the main idea of the "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

Arguably, the main idea of "The Tell-Tale Heart" is that when you commit a crime, like murder, you cannot escape your guilty conscience, no matter what the circumstances or your state of mind. Take...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2017 9:31 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What are three examples of irony in the story "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe?

Much of the effectiveness of Edgar Allan Poe's 1843 short story, "The Tell-Tale Heart," is a result of the many examples of irony in the story. It is ironic, first of all, that the narrator goes to...

Latest answer posted November 8, 2019 6:01 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

Describe the setting in "A Tell-Tale Heart?"

This question has already been asked and answered many times here on eNotes. Here is a comprehensive link for you: http://www.enotes.com/tell-tale-heart/q-and-a/tags/setting

Latest answer posted August 4, 2011 10:28 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

Why do the police arrive in "The Tell-Tale Heart"?  

When the mentally unstable narrator is about to kill the old man with the "Evil Eye," the old man lets out a loud shriek before the narrator throws him to the ground and suffocates him. The...

Latest answer posted March 1, 2018 3:59 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What does the beating heart symbolize in "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

I agree with ghalam--sometimes we do literature a disservice by looking for deep symbolic meaning behind every door and under every rock (floor board if you preferJ). The beating of the heart has...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2010 7:30 pm UTC

8 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What is the mood and setting of "The Tell-tale Heart"?

The mood is also, as is true in many of Poe's story, one of suspense. The night time observance of the old man, the murder, and the interview with the police are all seasons that rely upon the...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2007 12:26 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What does the title "The Tell-Tale Heart" mean?

The title "A Tell-Tale Heart" refers to the constant sound of the heart beat that the narrator hears after he has murdered the old man. The heart beat basically comes from the narrator's...

Latest answer posted October 28, 2007 8:53 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

In the story, "The Tell-Tale Heart," how does the opening paragraph foreshadow, or hint at, the events of the story?

The opening paragraph foreshadows the murder by letting you know that the narrator is mad. Foreshadowing is when the author gives hints early in a story to something that will happen later....

Latest answer posted October 16, 2015 1:51 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Tell-Tale Heart

What are some quotes in "The Tell-Tale Heart" that prove the narrator is sane?

The main difficulty in answering this question is that, as currerbell16 points out, the narrator of "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe is rather clearly not sane. In fact, the very efforts by...

Latest answer posted March 18, 2016 12:24 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Tell-Tale Heart

What is the main conflict in "The Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe, and how is it resolved? Include details and...

The central conflict in this story exists between the narrator and nature. It is death that he fears and tries to avoid, even though death is natural. He admits that he has no motive for killing...

Latest answer posted November 24, 2017 3:42 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What evidence does the narrator provide for his claim that he is not mad in "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

In "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator provides little real evidence to support his claim that he is not mad, which only serves to convince the reader that he is. In fact, Poe...

Latest answer posted January 24, 2020 4:34 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What does the term "vulture eye" suggest in "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe?

The reference to a vulture's eye is found early in "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe. The narrator tells us that he is nervous, mad (insane), upset--and yet quite calm. He starts to explain...

Latest answer posted November 17, 2013 4:02 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Tell-Tale Heart

What sound does the narrator hear at the end of the story that causes him to confess to the murder?

The narrator invites the officers who have come to investigate the cry his neighbors heard to sit directly over the spot where he has buried the corpse of the old man, his victim. Before long,...

Latest answer posted February 7, 2016 3:36 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Tell-Tale Heart

Why does the narrator confess at the end of Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart?

His protestations aside – “TRUE!—nervous—very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? . . . How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily—how...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2014 7:18 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Tell-Tale Heart

Repetition In The Tell Tale Heart

The conflict in this story is between the narrator and nature. It isn't the old man he conflicts with; it's the man's "vulture eye." It is likely that the "film" over the old man's eye is caused by...

Latest answer posted September 29, 2017 10:55 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

For a debate on "The Tell-Tale Heart," I have to say if the narrator is guilty or not and if he insane.

The narrator is clearly guilty of murder but what is important is that he considers himself sane. The purpose of him narrating the story is to tell the reader of his sanity as indicated by his...

Latest answer posted July 14, 2010 2:22 am UTC

5 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What is the main plot of "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

The plot is about a man who wants to murder another man but doesn't want to be caught and punished. We have to assume that he intends to commit a perfect crime, even though the narrator does not...

Latest answer posted August 11, 2012 2:37 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

Which words would you choose to describe the narrator in "The Tell-Tale Heart?"

One word to describe the narrator is "nervous." The narrator admits this in the first sentence. He even claims he is "diseased" but adds that his disease is not madness; rather, it is something...

Latest answer posted November 16, 2013 1:16 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Tell-Tale Heart

What is the external and internal conflict in the "Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe?

The narrator has an internal conflict of which he seems consciously unaware. He believes that his conflict is with the old man's "vulture" eye, for he says that he has no other motive to kill him....

Latest answer posted September 9, 2017 10:42 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

Is there any personification in "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

Personification is a literary device in which the author attributes human characteristics and features to inanimate objects, ideas, or animals. Personification allows the reader to connect and...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2017 12:45 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What is the relationship between the narrator and the old man in "The Tell-tale Heart"? My English teacher is...

In Poe's classic short story "The Tell-Tale Heart," the unreliable narrator never explicitly states his relationship with the old man, which is open to interpretation. While one could argue that...

Latest answer posted May 5, 2020 3:59 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What are some examples of irony in this short story? I need to give reasons why the examples are ironic.

The central theme of Edgar Allan Poe's short story The Tell-Tale Heart is ironic. The opening paragraph features the story's narrator vigorously objecting to any suggestion that his mental state is...

Latest answer posted February 12, 2015 7:47 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

Can you please provide a quotation that contains an example of verbal irony from "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

Verbal irony is when the narrator says something that contradicts their true feelings or intentions. Essentially, verbal irony is when a statement has an underlying meaning that contrasts with its...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2016 7:57 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What is the author's message in the story, "The Tell-Tale Heart?"

Edgar Allan Poe explores the themes of guilt, madness, and delusion throughout his short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" and offers the reader a unique insight into the mind of a maniac who has a...

Latest answer posted May 8, 2018 3:30 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

Imagery In The Tell Tale Heart

Imagery involves an appeal to the senses, and makes description more vivid to a reader's imagination. In "The Tell-Tale Heart," Edgar Allan Poe reconstructs a murder and its aftermath from the...

Latest answer posted May 1, 2020 5:26 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What can be a good thesis statement for "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

The main purpose of a thesis statement is to set out one's argument right at the very beginning of an essay, dissertation, or research paper. To that end, it must give the reader some idea of what...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2020 12:49 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

What are some repeating words, phrases, or character actions in the "Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe?

I'll pick words and phrases that are repeated throughout "The Tell-Tale Heart." The narrator, very early on in the story, tries to establish his sanity. In fact, the narrator reminds the reader...

Latest answer posted December 21, 2015 6:21 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Tell-Tale Heart

What is the surprise ending in the story "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

Near the end of the story, it appears that the narrator is going to get away with his crime of murdering the old man. He is welcoming to the police and never loses his cool as they question him and...

Latest answer posted January 31, 2019 10:37 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

How does Edgar Allen Poe's life connect to "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

Edgar Allan Poe encountered the deaths of close loved ones at an early age. Poe’s mother died when he was only three years old, and his father left Poe and his siblings. As a consequence, the...

Latest answer posted January 15, 2020 10:30 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

Does "The Tell-Tale Heart" contain any examples of foreshadowing?

The foreshadowing in Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart begins with the title, although the narrator makes no reference to the old man's titular heart until well past halfway through the story....

Latest answer posted May 2, 2020 7:43 pm UTC

4 educator answers

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