The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

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What do we know about the old man in the story "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

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Poe does not reveal much information regarding the character of the old man, who is violently murdered and dismembered by the mentally unstable narrator. The reader learns that the old man likely lives with the narrator, has a seemingly positive relationship with him, and is relatively wealthy, because the narrator states that he has "no desire . . . for his gold." However, Poe does not elaborate on the specifics of their relationship. The reader does not know if the old man is a relative of the narrator or simply his roommate. It is also possible that the narrator is the old man's caretaker or a friend of the old man's family.

The reader also discovers that the old man has a pale blue eye with a film over it, which the mentally deranged narrator refers to as an "Evil Eye." It is the old man's eye that incites the narrator's rage and influences him to commit the murder. The narrator also describes the old man as friendly and respectful, saying,

I loved the old man. He had never wronged...

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