Back to Select a Text

The Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart

Previous Page Page 1 Next Page
EAPoe
d

Stop and Think! 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 heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily—how calmly I can tell you the whole story. Resources

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture—a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Literary Device Resources Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees—very gradually—I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.

Stop and Think! 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. And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it—oh so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly—very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed. Ha! would a madman have been so wise as this, And then, when my head was well in the room, I undid the lantern cautiously—oh, so cautiously—cautiously (for the hinges creaked)—I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. Literary Device And this I did for seven long nights—every night just at midnight—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. Literary Device And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the chamber, and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he had passed the night. So you see he would have been a very profound old man, indeed, to suspect that every night, just at twelve, I looked in upon him while he slept.

Go to page: of 6
Previous Page Page 1 Next Page

Stop and Think!

Level Level 1Level 2Level 3
Close

Foreshadowing

Author's Craft

Interpret the foreshadowing, or clues about what might happen next. Choose the statement that best describes the kind of events the author is foreshadowing in this paragraph.


Click "Show" to see the clues that helped the coaches make their interpretations.
Show

Click on the Coaches for help.

MontyHaliPedro


Stop and Think!

Level Level 1Level 2Level 3
Close

Foreshadowing

Author's Craft

Now you can be creative and mix up your own foreshadowing for the story. What kind of central theme or future event do you want to foreshadow?




Click "Show" to see the parts you can change.
Show

Choose from the pull-downs to create your new foreshadowing. Remember your goal as you choose! Click "Done" when you are ready.


Click on the Coaches for help.

MontyHaliPedro


Stop and Think!

Level Level 1Level 2Level 3
Close

Foreshadowing

Author's Craft
Text help toolbar

Use the Text Help toolbar located above to highlight and collect the words and phrases that provide the foreshadowing in this passage. Paste them into your word processor and write, sketch, or discuss your response.


Click on the Coaches for help.

MontyHali

Stop and Think!

Level Level 1Level 2Level 3
Close

Characterization

Author's Craft

Interpret the characterization, or clues about the narrator as a character in the story. Choose the statement that best describes what narrator is like:


Click "Show" to see the clues that helped the coaches make their interpretations.
Show

Click on the Coaches for help.

MontyHaliPedro


Stop and Think!

Level Level 1Level 2Level 3
Close

Characterization

Author's Craft

Now you can be creative and mix up your own characterization. What kind of character would you like to make the narrator?




Click "Show" to see the parts you can change.
Show

Choose from the pull-downs to create your new characterization. Remember your goal as you choose! Click "Done" when you are ready.


Click on the Coaches for help.

MontyHaliPedro


Stop and Think!

Level Level 1Level 2Level 3
Close

Characterization

Author's Craft
Text help toolbar

Use the Text Help toolbar located above to highlight and collect the words and phrases that provide the characterization in this passage. Paste them into your word processor and write, sketch, or discuss your response.


Click on the Coaches for help.

MontyHali

Close Window

Check Your Work

Oops! Looks like you forgot to choose an answer.





Close Window

Check Your Work


:-(

Here is your version:
:-(

:-(



Close Window

Monty's Thoughts

When I read this paragraph, I focused on the narrator's repeated insistence on not being crazy. This point seems important to the narrator, so it made me think the issue of the narrator's sanity will be central to the story.

Close Window

Hali's Thoughts

When I am trying to understand foreshadowing at the beginning of a story, I look for clues about where the narrator seems to be focusing. Sometimes when words or ideas are repeated, it means they refer to something—an event, question, or problem—that will be central to the story.

Close Window


Pedro's Self Check

Ask yourself these questions:

Are there phrases about the future?

Is there a change happening in the weather, the setting, or the mood?

Are there objects, sounds, lighting, or scenic elements that suggest a feeling of happiness, sadness, danger, excitement, or another emotion?

Do characters or the narrator make an observation that might be a hint about something to come later?

Close Window

Monty's Thoughts

I changed the paragraph to foreshadow a tale of leadership and power. When I substituted the new words and phrases, I noticed that the narrator's personality also seemed to change.

Close Window

Hali's Thoughts

When I create foreshadowing at the beginning of a story, I try to make reference to some events or themes that will be important later in the story.

Close Window


Pedro's Self Check

Ask yourself these questions:

Are there phrases about the future?

Is there a change happening in the weather, the setting, or the mood?

Are there objects, sounds, lighting, or scenic elements that suggest a feeling of happiness, sadness, danger, excitement, or another emotion?

Do characters or the narrator make an observation that might be a hint about something to come later?

Close Window

Monty's Thoughts

When I read this paragraph, I focused on the narrator's repeated insistence that he is not crazy. This point seems important to the narrator, so it made me think the issue of the narrator's sanity will be central to the story.

Close Window

Hali's Thoughts

When I am trying to understand foreshadowing at the beginning of a story, I look for clues about where the narrator seems to be focusing. Sometimes when words or ideas are repeated, it means they refer to something—an event, question, or problem—that will be central to the story.

Close Window

Monty's Thoughts

When I read this passage, I realized it might not make sense to trust all of the narrator's claims. The fact that he has committed murder seems to overshadow the other things he says about himself.

Close Window

Hali's Thoughts

When the narrator is also the main character of a story, I pay close attention to the narrator's claims about his or her personality—and whether those claims actually fit with the narrator's actions.

Close Window


Pedro's Self Check

Ask yourself these questions when trying to understand characterization:

What does the character look like?

How does the character behave towards others? How do others behave toward the character?

What does the character seem to care about?

What adjectives does the author use to describe the character's personality?

What does the character think or say?

Close Window

Monty's Thoughts

I chose to change the narrator into someone who sincerely missed the old man. I thought that changing the narrator's action at the end was really what made him seem like a different kind of person.

Close Window

Hali's Thoughts

When I am choosing words and phrases to make a new kind of character, I use adjectives to describe appearance, or I describe actions or thoughts that signal the reader about what the character is like.

Close Window


Pedro's Self Check

Ask yourself these questions when trying to understand characterization:

What does the character look like?

How does the character behave towards others? How do others behave toward the character?

What does the character seem to care about?

What adjectives does the author use to describe the character's personality?

What does the character think or say?

Close Window

Monty's Thoughts

When I read this passage, I realized it might not make sense to trust all of the narrator's claims. The fact that he has committed murder seems to overshadow the other things he says about himself.

Close Window

Hali's Thoughts

When the narrator is also the main character of a story, I pay close attention to the narrator's claims about his or her personality—and whether those claims actually fit with the narrator's actions.