The Tell-Tale Heart

LORELAI: Okay, I’ve got you right here. Well, once again, welcome, and let me assure you there are no human body parts buried in the floor of your room to keep you awake tonight. Sound good?
MR. HATLESTAD: I guess …
LORELAI: The Tell-Tale Heart. That’s a Poe story. Did they not get that?

“The Tell-Tale Heart”, a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. It is related by an unnamed narrator who endeavors to convince the reader of the narrator’s sanity while simultaneously describing a murder of an old man the narrator committed.

The narrator emphasizes the careful calculation of the murder, attempting the perfect crime, complete with dismembering the body in the bathtub and hiding it under the floorboards. Ultimately, the narrator’s actions result in hearing a thumping sound, which the narrator interprets as the dead man’s beating heart.

The story was first published in The Pioneer in 1843. It is considered a classic of Gothic fiction, and is one of Poe’s best known short stories.

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