The Tell-Tale Heart Questions and Answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

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

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

In the second paragraph of Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Tell-Tale Heart," the wholly unreliable narrator—who, despite his protestations to the contrary, is clearly insane— explains his reason...

Latest answer posted February 19, 2021, 4:30 pm (UTC)

7 educator answers

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

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

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

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

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

Metaphors and similes are both elements of figurative language that make comparisons between relatively unknown things or ideas and things or ideas that are better known. The point is to make the...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2021, 1:55 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

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 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)

5 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

Edgar Allan Poe uses first-person narration in his classic short story "The Tell-Tale Heart." Readers can easily discern the type of narration by noticing the narrator's use of the personal...

Latest answer posted January 29, 2021, 11:49 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

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

Dramatic irony is created when the audience knows something that one or more characters do not know, and it is often used to build tension in a text. Such dramatic irony is created as early as the...

Latest answer posted October 16, 2020, 12:17 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Tell-Tale Heart

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

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

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

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

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

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

"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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The main idea of "The Tell-Tale Heart" is to probe the depths of the human psyche; Poe uses the story to examine the motives and pathology of a mad man, who interestingly enough is the narrator of...

Latest answer posted July 15, 2012, 3:22 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

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

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

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

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

Onomatopoeia is a literary device in which a word is formed to imitate a sound. Examples include "ring," "pow," "snap," and "boom." The first example of onomatopoeia in Edgar Allan Poe's short...

Latest answer posted October 15, 2017, 1:46 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

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

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

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

In this short story the protagonist is the narrator - but as discussed above, he is definitely not the hero, nor can we relate to him or like him. The antagonist is the narrator's conscience....

Latest answer posted September 17, 2011, 1:09 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

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

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

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

The narrator's description of the old man's "vulture eye" and its effect on him certainly helps to create suspense in the story. He says, "Whenever [the eye] fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and...

Latest answer posted March 11, 2016, 12:54 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Tell-Tale Heart

In this eerie short story, the narrator tries to convince the reader that not only is he sane but is also justified in killing an old man, whom he claims to love, because of his eye. After...

Latest answer posted May 20, 2020, 2:25 pm (UTC)

5 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

The climax of a text is often considered to be the moment of maximum intensity or the highest amount of tension; it can also be a kind of turning point in the plot. After the narrator kills the old...

Latest answer posted November 25, 2018, 6:32 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

The unnamed first-person narrator attempts to use his moment-by-moment, step-by-step description of a murder he's committed, and his concealment of that murder, as the basis for proving his...

Latest answer posted November 1, 2020, 3:55 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

In "The Tell-Tale Heart," the unreliable narrator is vexed by the old man's eye, so he resolves to kill him one night while he is sleeping. When the narrator goes into the old man's room to murder...

Latest answer posted January 9, 2016, 5:24 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Tell-Tale Heart

The Gothic genre contains stories that combine elements of horror, death, romance, and emotions. They are usually focused on examining a facet of humanity or society through a story filled with the...

Latest answer posted June 10, 2020, 9:19 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

While Poe doesn't specify a time period and many of his stories seem to be set in an earlier era, clues in the story suggest it takes places in the 1830s or 1840s, in Poe's lifetime. The story...

Latest answer posted November 22, 2018, 1:01 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Tell-Tale Heart

According to Poe's criteria, "The Tell-Tale Heart" is indeed the perfect short story. Here are some of the reasons why: Length: With less than twenty paragraphs, the story is short enough to read...

Latest answer posted October 19, 2016, 10:43 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

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

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

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