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The Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart


by Edgar Allan Poe

The Narrator Timeline and Summary

  • The narrator says he'll tell a story to prove he's sane.
  • During nights one through eight (of the narrator's story), the narrator spies on the old man while he sleeps.
  • On the eighth night, the narrator kills the old man, cuts up the body, and hides it.
  • The narrator hears a knock at the door and finds three policemen who are investigating the complaint of a suspicious neighbor.
  • The narrator invites them in and shows them around.
  • Eventually the narrator begins to hear a noise.
  • The noise grows so loud that the narrator directs the police to the body, and announces that the noise he's hearing is the heartbeat of the murdered old man.