The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

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What is the resolution to the story the "Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The resolution of a story is the solution to the problem presented in the story. It is also called the denouement.

In this story, suspense is raised by the following question: will the narrator get away with his irrational crime of killing the old man and hiding the body under the floorboards? The story leads us to have every reason to believe he will. The mentally unbalanced narrator boldly entertains the police who come to investigate in the very room where the body is buried. They are completely convinced by the murder's story of his own innocence.

The resolution comes, however, after the narrator believes he hears the dead man's heart beating louder and louder beneath the floorboards. His own sense of guilt leads to the denouement, in which the narrator confesses his crime. His confession is the resolution.

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brendawm eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The resolution of the story comes when the narrator convinces himself that the old man's heartbeat is audible to everyone and will eventually point him out as his murder, so in a fit of guilt, the murderer breaks down and confesses everything to the police.  He even leads them to where he has hidden the body parts.

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