Tell Tale Heart - Summary
The short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe was published in 1843 and is written in first-person from a crazy man who tells the reader how he kills the old man because of his eye.
At first, the first-person-narrator says he isn’t mad that’s why he can tell the whole story. He begins with how he loves the old man and that the old man never treated him badly, but his vulture blue pale eye scares him and he wants to get rid of it. He compares himself with Madmen and that they could not do the things he does. He comes to the old man seven nights in a row and looks in his room very quiet and slowly so the man doesn’t wake up and every night the eye is closed that’s why he does not kill him. Then in the morning, the I-narrator asks the old man how he slept. In the eight-night, he chuckles about his power of sagacity, that the old man would never dream, that he could open the door and looks at him. Then the old man hears him and moves suddenly. But the I-narrator knows he can’t see him because it is pitch black. When he wants to open the lantern, he makes a noise again and the old man springs up in bed and asks if there’s anyone. After that, the I-narrator doesn’t move for an hour. While he is still, he pities the old man for his fears, he now has. Then he opens one crevice of the lantern so that a ray shines in the old man’s eye. He only sees the eye nothing else. He starts to hear his heartbeat of the man and it grows louder and louder but he keeps not moving. When he thinks the heart should burst by beating so loud, he is scared that the neighbours could hear it. He yells at the old man and jumps into his room. The old man screams one's while the I-narrator pushes him down and pulls the heavy bed over him. He sits down on the bed and is happy. For many minutes he hears the heartbeat until it stops and the old man is dead. Then the I-narrator removes the bed and tries to hear the heartbeat from the old man but he’s dead. The I-narrator thinks that the eye would trouble him no more. He asks the reader if he still thinks he’s mad and tries to proof the opposite when he explains how he dismembers the body and how he hides the parts under the wooden floor. When he is getting finished, it's four o’clock. After some time three police officers knock on the door and he opens suavity. The first person narrator explains to the officers that he had shrieked in a dream while he is taking care of the old man’s house while he is absent. He brings them inside to relax from their hard work and then they’re satisfied. In the same way, the I-narrator starts to hear a ringing in his ear, he gets pale and his headaches. While they chat, he realises that the noise isn’t in his ears, whereas the noise increases. He stands up and paced the floor to and fro. He starts to rave and swear and the officers start to smile. The I-narrator realises that they know it. He feels he has to scream or die. At last, he admits the deed while he removes the planks and says that the hideous heartbeats. There the short story ends.