The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

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What about the old man bothers the narrator?

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For some unknown reason, the narrator is bothered by the old man’s cloudy, pale blue eye, which has incited madness in the narrator. Whenever the old man looks at him, his blood turns cold, and he becomes determined to kill him to get rid of this curse. The narrator continually argues he is not mad, yet for a whole week, he sneaks into the old man’s room every night. The problem is the victim is always sound asleep with his eyes closed, and the narrator cannot bring himself to kill the man without seeing his ‘‘Evil Eye.’’ Finally, on the eighth night, the man springs up and cries ‘‘Who’s there?’’ In the dark room, the narrator waits silently for an hour. The man does not go back to sleep; instead, he gives out a slight groan, realizing that ‘‘Death’’ is approaching. Eventually, the narrator shines his lamp on the old man’s eye. The narrator immediately becomes furious at the ‘‘damned spot,’’ but he soon hears the beating of a heart so loud that he fears the neighbors will hear it. With a yell, he leaps into the room and kills the old man. Despite the murder, he continues to hear the man’s relentless heartbeat, which continues to drive him further into the depths of insanity.

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