I need a critque of The Tell Tale heart.

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Can you please email me with a few critisms of the story The Tell Tale heart?

-- Anonymous, November 17, 1999


Hey actually this isnt critism....but if you wouldnt mind could you e- mail me some of the things that people are saying about the tell tale heart. It would be much appreciated I need it for a school project! Thanks much.... Lauren

-- Anonymous, November 18, 1999

The 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 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.

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! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture -- a pale blue eye with a film over it. 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 for ever. 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 so 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. 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. 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.

Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. A watch's minute hand moves more quickly than did mine. Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers, of my sagacity. I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. To think that there I was opening the door little by little, and he not even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea, and perhaps he heard me, for he moved on the bed suddenly as if startled. Now you may think that I drew back -- but no. His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness (for the shutters were close fastened through fear of robbers), and so I knew that he could not see the opening of the door, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily.

I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening , and the old man sprang up in the bed, crying out, "Who's there?"

I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear him lie down. He was still sitting up in the bed, listening; just as I have done night after night hearkening to the death watches in the wall.

Presently, I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief -- oh, no! It was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him although I chuckled at heart. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. He had been saying to himself, "It is nothing but the wind in the chimney, it is only a mouse crossing the floor," or, "It is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp." Yes he has been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions ; but he had found all in vain. ALL IN VAIN, because Death in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him and enveloped the victim. And it was the mournful influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him to feel, although he neither saw nor heard, to feel the presence of my head within the room.

When I had waited a long time very patiently without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little -- a very, very little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it -- you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily -- until at length a single dim ray like the thread of the spider shot out from the crevice and fell upon the vulture eye.

It was open, wide, wide open, and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness -- all a dull blue with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones, but I could see nothing else of the old man's face or person, for I had directed the ray as if by instinct precisely upon the damned spot.

And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses? now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well too. It was the beating of the old man's heart. It increased my fury as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.

But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eye. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder, every instant. The old man's terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! -- do you mark me well? I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me -- the sound would be heard by a neighbour! The old man's hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once -- once only. 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.

I 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 human eye -- not even his -- could have detected anything wrong. There was nothing to wash out -- no stain of any kind -- no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that.

When I had made an end of these labours, it was four o'clock -- still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light 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 neighbour 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 my 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. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.

The officers were satisfied. My MANNER had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears; but still they sat, and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct : I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definitiveness -- until, at length, I found that the noise was NOT within my ears.

No doubt I now grew VERY pale; but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased -- and what could I do? It was A LOW, DULL, QUICK SOUND -- MUCH SUCH A SOUND AS A WATCH MAKES WHEN ENVELOPED IN COTTON. I gasped for breath, and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly, more vehemently but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why WOULD they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men, but the noise steadily increased. O God! what COULD I do? I foamed -- I raved -- I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder -- louder -- louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly , and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! -- no, no? They heard! -- they suspected! -- they KNEW! -- they were making a mockery of my horror! -- this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! -- and now -- again -- hark! louder! louder! louder! LOUDER!

"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! -- tear up the planks! -- here, here! -- it is the beating of his hideous heart!"

Here is the story. Its about a madman who hates this guy because of something wierd. He eventually kills him.

-- Anonymous, December 02, 1999

I think the eye symbolizes evil. The main character is schizophrenic. He kills his house mate a man,he says he admires, because he cant stand his weird eye. I think the eye represents what he fears. I also think he is a very scared person and phyco. And when the police are there he hears the mans watch from under the planks and being a schizo. it gets louder and louder and symbolizes evil and he gets scared and retreats from plan and explodes in the only way he new how, to tell the police. Its a tell tale heart. It told him.

-- Anonymous, December 02, 1999


-- Anonymous, December 08, 1999

We read The Tell-Tale Heart in 6th grade English. I am 41 now, and I can still remember some of the discussions we had about this story. I believe we concluded that the young man, who was insane, killed his grandfather. Now, I wonder how the average 6th grader would think of mental illness after reading this story.

-- Anonymous, December 18, 1999

Well there isn't anything wrong with Edgar Allen Poe's work The Tell Tale heart. Poe's work has always been execeptable to many people in this day and time. Poe's work is dark,gloomy, and tasteful in many ways so how can you judge a man of art,talent,and personality.

-- Anonymous, January 12, 2000

This is a very good story and has lots of meaning which I will be glad to share. If you ask me I will tell you.

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2000

I believe that the heartbeat he heard was his own. He just killed a man and now the police were in the house right above the body (if I understood this correctly). Although he thought it was thrilling that they were there, he started to get paranoid. He got nervous and I think it was his own heart rapidly pounding that he was afraid the police would hear. He was obviously somewhat crazy. What amazes me is how Poe describes the mind of the killer; incredibly detailed...

-- Anonymous, January 28, 2000

While it is indeed true that Poe's work is considered brilliant and thought provoking, there are, however, few things the mind dismisses. Such as the fact that in The Tell Tale Heart the corpse had been rotting for days... would YOU want to live in the vicinity of where the crime took place? Assuming of course your sense of smell does in fact work.

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2000

I think the quote before mind is the stupidest reply ever! In what way does this provide any kind of plausible help. It was not only a waste of space but of time and effort on your part. I really hope you sit down and take a good look at yourself. You recieve no respect from me.... and may God have mercy on your soul!

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2000

What kind of help were you expecting? It sounds like the comments of someone who expects someelse to do his work for him. The comment before yours suggests one sense that Poe omitted: smell. Is this omission a flaw in the story or an indication that the narrator is not responding to the normal world of sensation? Use your imagination.

-- Anonymous, March 08, 2000

I need a description on the murder scene by the officers point of view. i need it as soon as possible dogz.


-- Anonymous, October 30, 2000

In The story BThe Tell-Tale HeartB by Edgar Allen Poe, there is a crazy man. I would like to convince to you that this man really is crazy. So I decided to proove my points with quotes. There is 3 main topics that I can talk to you about to show you that this man is crazy. His motivations, his constant repetition telling himself hes not mad, and his ways of stalking and murdering the man.

You can clearly see that this man is crazy just by his motivations for killing the man. The crazy man, obviously had problemsB Many problems. He would hear crazy things. He really had no reason to kill the vultured eyed man. He even says it BObject there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged meB. He felt he had to get rid of the man just because of his vulture-like eye. BI think it was his eye! Yes it was this. One of his eyes resembled that of a vultureB. The mans eyes scared him. BWhenever it fell upon me, my blood ran coldB so now you can just see for this one reason why he is crazy.

His continuous repeating and explaining that he is not mad is also another good reason for me to see the man is crazy. This crazy man is really trying hard to convince himself that he is not mad. B True ! B

Nervous B very nervous I had been and I am! But why will you say that I am mad?B He really is, but he doesnBt want to believe it. He has really no reason to be mad at the guy because he had never done anything to the crazy guy. BYou fancy me mad. Madmen now nothingB. HeBs saying that heBs knows everything thatBs going on, and he has it all planned out how heBs going to kill the poor man. HeBs clearly confused, has no clue whatBs really going on. Since the man thinks heBs so smart, and that he knows whatBs going on, in his mind has no thought in his mind that heBs crazy. So IBm pretty sure you now realize that heBs quite crazy.

IBm sure when you hear the mans continuous stalking and murdering the man, you will not only doubt heBs crazy but now realize it. The crazy man in BThe Tell-Tale HeartB, had excessive stalking. Every night he would go to the poor mans room and open his door and check him out. BEvery night about midnight, I turned on the latch of his door and opened itB. This guy was really crazy, he is very descriptive about the ways he perused his stalkage (a word my friend and me use). B oh so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see to see how cunningly I thrust it in!B He was so cautious, he would make sure he doesnBt wake the man up. BI moved it slowly- very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the mans sleepB. For a whole week he would repeat these procedures at midnight. BAnd this I did for seven long nights- every night just at midnightB

By now im pretty sure you also realize just like I do that this man REALLY is crazy. If you donBt I have to say your also pretty crazy. Just by reading this little short essay, and without reading the book, you can tell the man is crazy. No motivations for the kill, his stalking and his way of murdering the poor man, and his strategy of stalking the man. So please if you donBt realize by now, you should seek some help.

-- Anonymous, November 09, 2000

I think that this is a very detailed story with plenty of info. the ending shocked me but i also believe that it was my dad who is the killer. HA HA HA>.. dont look

-- Anonymous, January 24, 2001

While I came to many of the same conclusions as those stated before me, I think people have over looked the symbolism contained within the comparision of a vulture's eye. It is no accident that poe choose a vulture to symbolize the old man's eye. A vulture is the animal that appears when something is about to die. In this case, I think that the "vulture" senses that the death of the speakers sanity is close at hand. The speaker keeps repeating that he is not mad, because he knows that he is, and he is desperately trying to convince himself that he is not. While the old man's eye cannot actually sense his madness, in his madness the speaker fears that it is can. Perhaps in his madness, the speaker thought destroying the eye was the only way he could remain sane. I think I'll go with something like that for my paper, although I may be way off base.

-- Anonymous, April 07, 2003

Amazing isnt it? how a human being could do all of that brutality just to satisfy his need to kill the man with the evil eye.. for me, the short story symbolizes a person who is jealous of the someone whom owns something that he cannot own. it was a matter of admitting to himself tha he truly admires the old man. He just said that cause he was really jealous of the old man's evil eye. Have you ever seen the anime show titled "Get Backers"? Its a cool thing to have an evil eye but enough of that.. The old man irritates the lead character so much that he himself wants to end the life of the old man by killing him. He started to lose his sanity. Worst! He could be mentally ill already. Maybe he could somewhat be considered as a natural inborn psycho.. hehe.. for him he hears his heart beat so loud because of conscience.. even if a person already killed hundreds of people there is still conscience and KARMA.. then again, we have another story which has an ending which is really hanging.. You decide yourself what could the possible and impossible endings could be..

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2005

Christ people. i can understand asking for some basic ides or direction, but when you say " i need a critque " you are basicly asking someone to do your thinking for you. I can understand if Poe. or Lit isnt your cup of tea but for fucks sake ...use your head. read the shit and form a gooddamn odea on your own.

-- Anonymous, March 12, 2005

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