His sensitivities allow him to hear and sense things in heaven, hell, and on earth that other people are not even aware of. His over-sensitivity becomes in this story the ultimate cause of his obsession with the old man's eye, which in turn causes him to murder the old man.
Ironically, the narrator offers as proof of his sanity the calmness with which he can narrate the story. The story begins boldly and unexpectedly: "I loved the old man," the narrator says, adding, "He had never wronged me. Even though he knows that we, the readers, might consider him mad for this decision, yet he Tell Tale Heart to prove his sanity by showing how "wisely" and with what extreme precaution, foresight, and dissimulation he executed his deeds.
Every night at twelve o'clock, he would slowly open the door, "oh so gently," and would quietly and cunningly poke his head very slowly through the door.
It would sometimes take him an hour to go that far — "would a madman have been so wise as this? For seven nights, he opened the door ever so cautiously, then when he was just inside, he opened his lantern just enough so that one small ray of light would cast its tiny ray upon "the vulture eye.
On the eighth night, he decided it was now the time to commit the deed. When he says "I fairly chuckled at the idea," we know that we are indeed dealing with a highly disturbed personality — despite the fact that he seems to present his story very coherently. On this particular night, unlike the preceding seven nights, the narrator's hand slipped on the clasp of the lantern, and the old man immediately "sprang up in bed, crying out — 'Who's there?
Here, as in most of Poe's stories, the action proper of the story takes place within a closed surrounding — that is, the murder of the old man is within the confines of his small bedroom with the shutters closed and in complete darkness. Furthermore, as in works like "The Cask of Amontillado," the moans of the victim heighten the terror of the story. The old man's moans were "low stifled sounds that arose from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe.
But he warns the reader not to mistake his "over-acuteness of the senses" for madness because he says that suddenly there came to his ears "a low, dull, quick sound": It was the beating of the old man's heart.
Retrieved 10 April Retrieved 9 June Red Ventures. Retrieved 16 May Retrieved 29 July Retrieved 22 May Game Revolution. Retrieved 15 May CBS Interactive. Retrieved 27 March Ziff Davis. Screen Rant. Windows Central. Retrieved 20 May Push Square. Retrieved 20 November Archived from the original on 21 November Retrieved 21 November Bleeding Cool.
Retrieved 4 January Retrieved 21 January Retrieved 25 February Retrieved 5 March Retrieved 10 March The Guardian. Pitchfork Media. Rolling Stone. Favorable . Unreleased, Time Out of Mind. Alternate version, Oh Mercy. Alternate version, Modern Times. Alternate version of Tell Tale Heart released on the North Country soundtrack. From the Lucky You soundtrack.
Robert Johnson. Unreleased, World Gone Wrong. Ralph Stanley, Carter Stanley. Live at Bonnaroo MusicBrainz release group. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But, for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall.
At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eye would trouble me no more. If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body.
The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs. I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no Tell Tale Heart eye — not even his — could have detected any thing wrong.
There was nothing to wash out — no stain of any kind — no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that. A Tell Tale Heart had caught all — ha! As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a Tell Tale Heart heart, — for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police.
A shriek had been heard by a neighbor during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they the officers had been deputed to search the premises.
I smiled, — for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took Tell Tale Heart visitors all over the house.
I bade them search — search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed.
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