Collections Grade 8 Guiding Questions
“The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe
Read the short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe. Then, reread the lines indicated with each question below. Answer each question, citing text evidence.
1. Lines 8–16: How can you tell that this story is being told from a first-person point of view? How does the use of a first-person narrator contribute to the development of suspense?
2. Lines 45–52: Which details in the text suggest that the narrator of this story is not reliable? What is it about this narrator that makes him seem unreliable?
3. Lines 80–93: In what four places does Poe repeat a word or phrase? What idea does the repetition of “to feel” emphasize? What impact does the repetition of the word “stealthily” have?
4. Lines 103–115: Give examples of the ways Poe creates suspense in these lines. Why do these phrases create suspense?
5. Lines 130–141: In this passage, how does the narrator try to convince readers that he is sane and reliable? What effect do the narrator’s explanations have on the reader?