The Telltale Heart

The Telltale Heart
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  • THE TELLTALE HEART
  • The narrator tells us of an old man he lives with. The old man has an unsettling bright blue eye that he is incredibly afraid of. He also tries very hard to convince the readers he isn't crazy.
  • Exposition
  • Every night, the narrator goes into the old man's room to see if the eye is open to decide whether he will murder him.
  • Inciting Incident
  • One night, the narrator accidentally wakes up the old man and remains very quietly to be unseen
  • Rising Action
  • The narrator believes he can hear the old man's heartbeat. He kills the old man by suffocating him with the blanket, then cuts him up and buries him under the floorboards.
  • Climax
  • Falling Action
  • Some police come to the narrator's house, having been told about screams coming from his house. The narrator tells them he was simply having a bad dream, and invites them in.
  • They chat casually, but the narrator thinks he hears a faint heartbeat. The police don't seem to notice, so he doesn't say anything.
  • The narrator hears the heartbeat getting louder and louder until he can't take it anymore. He thinks the police can hear it too and are making fun of him. 
  • He snaps and starts screaming, admitting to the murder
  • Resolution
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