The Tell-Tale Heart  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
The Compulsion to Confess

"The Tell-Tale Heart" is an 1843 short story by Edgar Allan Poe. It follows an unnamed narrator who insists on his sanity despite his murder of an old man with a vulture eye. The murder is carefully calculated and the murderer hides the body by cutting it into pieces and hiding it under the floorboards. Ultimately, the narrator's guilt manifests itself in the hallucination that the man's heart is still beating under the floorboards.

It is unclear what relationship, if any, the old man and his murderer share. It has been suggested that the old man is a father figure or, perhaps, that his vulture eye represents some sort of veiled secret. The ambiguity and lack of details about the two main characters stands in stark contrast to the specific plot details leading up to the murder.

The story was first published in James Russell Lowell's The Pioneer in January 1843. Widely considered a classic of the Gothic fiction genre and one of Poe's most famous short stories, "The Tell-Tale Heart" has been adapted or served as an inspiration for a variety of media.


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Tell-Tale Heart" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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