What actions does the narrator in "The Tell-Tale Heart" take to prepare for the crime and cover up?

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mperez-mugg21 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The narrator of "The Tell-Tale Heart" takes great pride in preparing meticulously to murder the old man and in the steps that he takes to cover it up. During the week leading up to the murder, the narrator snuck into the room of the old man every night at midnight. He took great care to open the door slowly and creep into the room with such care that the old man never woke up. The narrator even shined a lantern on the old man in order to ensure that he was asleep. This preparation gave the narrator great confidence that he could sneak up on the old man without his knowing and commit the murder. After finally going through with the murder, the narrator took the same meticulous care in covering up his crime and disposing of the body. He dismembered the body--taking care to ensure that he didn't spill even a drop of blood--and hid the old man's limbs under the floor. The narrator was so confident in the perfection of his crime and the steps he took to cover it up that he invited the police to inspect the old man's room and even brought them chairs to sit in the room. Although he managed to convince the police that no crime had been committed, his own conscience wouldn't allow him to get away with the murder and he ultimately confessed.

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The Tell-Tale Heart

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