What are some debate questions for "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

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chelseaosborne314 | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

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The main goal of debate or discussion questions is ensuring that they facilitate discussion and keep others interested. One way I have found that is good for that kind of thing is bringing up questions that could lead to a bigger topic within the story, or questions that you could eventually relate to the world. Regarding this particular story and author, it is always interesting to ask not only what things mean within the story, but what they mean about the author as well.

One question that concerns this topic would be: Do you think the narrator of "The Tell-Tale Heart" is sane or insane? Does it make the story more enjoyable if he is insane? Why or why not?

Another is: What do the madness of the narrator and his actions say about Poe and his view of the world?

You could also ask: Are the actions of the narrator those of a sane man? Could a deranged man do these things, as the narrator claims they cannot? Could only a deranged man do these things despite what the narrator claims?

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