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The Tell Tale Heart Composition Review

May 2, 2004

Composition Review #3

In The Tell Tale Heart, the characters plan is mainly to take the life of the old man with the vultures eye. He planned to go into the old mans room without a sound and see if his Evil Eye was open. With the utmost care, the narrator had slowly progressed in breaking into the room without the old man noticing. He stated how wisely I proceeded- with what caution- with what foresight- with what dissimulation I went to work. The narrator aroused no suspicion into the matter by being congenial to the man and comforting him each night.

At midnight, the narrator opened the door gently, put in a dark lantern, thrust his head gently in for an hour, and undid the lantern cautiously. He did this for seven long nights without seeing the eye open, but then on the eighth night, he startled the old man from his sleep. Once he was inside, he opened the lantern stealthily and directed the ray full upon the vulture eye.

After hearing the beating of the heart, he was enraged into a frenzy and killed the old man by suffocating him. Wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body, as he cut off the head, arms, and legs, and deposited the segments between the scantlings of the house. He replaced the boards cleverly so no one could notice anything and there wasnt even a stain of blood, for he used a tub.

However, the police came on suspicion of foul play and he welcomed them in and bade them to search well since I didnt have anything to fear. In the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, I placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim. By means of this simple overconfident and heedless act, he began feeling guilty and heard a distant ringing sound. This sound soon became more distinct until he came to the point of complete self-destruction. He foamed, raved, swore, argued, swung his chair, and made violent gesticulations. These actions proved his degree of insanity and that he was truly a troubled man.

The narrator finally admitted the murder despite his confidence that he would succeed. He believed that no one can outsmart him, for he had an overacuteness of the senses and that he was extremely wise in his procedures. He felt with his cunning mind that he could outwit anything. Through his methodical and precise actions, the reader could find no flaws or errors other than the eighth night when he awoke the old man. It was actually himself and his insanity that brought upon his own downfall. He would have gotten away with his murder had it not been for his madness, which caused the supposed ringing noise that he heard.

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