Back to: The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
The Tell-Tale Heart is a Gothic horror short story written by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. In this short story, the narrator tells his story. According to him, he is not insane. However, he has some issues of hypersensitivity.
He has a few friends, one of whom is an old man. The old man loves him very much. However, the narrator is often irritated by the vulture-like eye of that old man. It makes the narrator lose his confidence and he cannot work. Hence he decides to kill the old man.
He makes a plot. He goes to the home of the old man with a lantern in the night and shines it near the evil-eye of the old man. However, he (the old man) is in deep sleep and does not open his eyes. The narrator keeps repeating this action for seven days.
Finally one day, the old man is disturbed by the noise of the narrator. The narrator, instead of running away hides and waits for the old man to go back to sleep. Once the old man goes to sleep, the narrator lights the lantern and goes near the former.
The rays of lantern finally make the old man open. Finding the old man in distress and terror, the narrator at once strikes him and keeps doing that until the old man scums to death. All this creates a lot of noise.
After killing him, the narrator cuts the body of the old man into small pieces and hides it under the floor. He cleans the blood and makes sure no sign of murder is there.
Soon the police appear after being reported by the neighbors about the noise. The narrator remains confident and tells the police that the noise and screams heard by them was his own. He had a nightmare. Moreover, he also tells them that the old man is not there.
He then brings chairs for them and they sit together at the same place where the old man’s body parts are hidden.
However soon, the narrator begins hearing weird noises in his ears which are quite uncomfortable and irritating. As the noises keep growing in his ears, he thinks that they might be coming from the heart of the old man.
The officers do not seem to be aware of it. However, the narrator is terrified by the noises and also assumes that the officers are also hearing it. He cannot bear and confesses his crime before them. He shows them the body parts of the old man under the floor. The story ends.