Tell Tale Heart

2210 Words9 Pages
Tell Tale Heart

"True!--nervous--very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses--not destroyed--not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heavens and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad?"

"...Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded--with what caution--with what foresight--with what dissimulation I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him."

It is impossible to say how the idea of murdering the old man first entered the mind of the narrator. There was no real motive as stated by the narrator: "Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me....For his gold I had no desire. I think that it was his eye!"

The narrator states that one of the old man's eyes was a pale blue color with a film over it, which resembled the eye of a vulture. Just the sight of that eye made the narrator's blood run cold, and as a result, the eye (and with it the old man) must be destroyed.

Every night at midnight, the narrator went to the old man's room. Carefully, he turned the latch to the door, and opened it without making a sound. When a sufficient opening had been made, a covered lantern was thrust inside. "I undid the lantern cautiously...(for the hindges creaked)--I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights...but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye."

The old man suspected nothing. During the day, the narrator continued to perform his usual duties, and even dared to ask each morning how the old man had passed the night; however, at midnight, the nightly ritual continued.

Upon the eighth night, the narrator proceeded to the old man's room as usual; however, on this night, something was different. "Never before that night had I felt the extent of my powers--of my sagacity.

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