THE TELL -TALE HEART Summary
– Edgar Allan Poe
“The Tell-Tale Heart” is a psychological and strange story written by Edger Allan Poe. The unnammed narrator of the story is probably a boy who lives in an old man’s house. He is suffering from the nervous disease. He is Over sensitive to hearing. According to him, the old man has the eye like vulture. The narrators fears from the eyes of old man. When the eye of the old man falls upon the narrator, his blood becomes cold. To overcome these fear, the narrator wants to kill the old man to destroy the eye. Every night, the boy tries to kill the old man but becomes unsuccessful. On the eighth night, when he opens the door of the old man, he suddenly has a feeling of power. He kills the old man to be free from the eye of vulture He cuts off the head and arms of the old man and hides the dead body under the wooden floor. The boy neglects to remove the watch from the wrist of the old man. He leaves no sign of blood and other proofs of murder.
After the murder the three police officers have arrived to the house for investigation. They search the house but find no evidence of the murder. The narrator hides his inner feelings and behaves very politely and pleasantly to the police officers. He talks with a smile and shows the policemen the treasure (money) and the room of the old man. He answers the questions of the officers very carefully and happily. They believe the narrator and they talk in a friendly way about other things. Then suddenly, the boy hears the tick-tick sound that comes actually from the watch of the old man. However, the narrator mistakes it for the heart beating of the dead body. The boy tries to kill the sound by talking loudly but the sound becomes louder and louder. He becomes angry and excited. He throws his chairs across the room. The policemen still talk and smile. The boy thinks that they have already known the hidden truth. He realizes that they are making fun of him, Then in his mad sense, the narrator confesses his crime. He says that he has murdered the old man and hidden the dead body under the wooden floor.
Finally, the boy kills an innocent old man because of his madness. His nervous disease leads him to be a murderer. Again, because of his mad sense, he mistakes the clock sound of the watch to be the heart beating of the dead body and thus he confesses his guilt in front of police officers.