The Tell-Tale Heart Questions and Answers
by Edgar Allan Poe

The Tell-Tale Heart book cover
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What is the main conclusion of "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

The main conclusion of "The Tell-Tale Heart" is that the narrator is completely insane and that he murdered and dismembered the old man. Other conclusions that could be made are that good will always vanquish evil and that one cannot hide from their own conscious.

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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 carefully plotting out his murder and waiting for just the right moment to execute it, the narrator kills and then dismembers the old man, storing his body parts underneath the floorboards. At first he believes that he's totally gotten away with the murder, but when the police show up, he hears the beating of the old man's heart, which is really a manifestation of his own guilty conscience, and he ends up confessing everything.

One conclusion based on the outcome of the story is that it's nearly impossible to get away with evil deeds and that the truth will eventually come to light. The narrator isn't really hearing the beating of an old man's heart after he died; instead, he is becoming increasingly guilt-ridden over his crime, and that guilt manifests itself in a physical and tangible way.

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