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  • The Tell-Tale HeartEdgar Allan Poe


    1. Based on the title, make predictions about: a. The plot (what might happen in this story?) b. The characters (what kind of people might be in this story?) c. The theme (what message might Poe be trying to share through this story?)

    During Reading:

    1. Make a log of difficult words in the text. 2. Try to determine their meaning using various cuing systems. What are some of the

    cuing systems you can use? a. Content clues b. Prefix/suffix c. Root word d. Definition embedded

    e. Parallel structure

    Post Reading:

    Part One: Recall/Comprehension

    1. How does the story open? 2. Why does the narrator seem disturbed by the old man? 3. What does he plan to do about it? 4. How is the narrators plan enacted? 5. What does he do with the body? 6. What happens when the police arrive? 7. What happens as he sits with the officers in the old mans room? 8. Fill in a plot diagram for the story.

    Part Two: Style

    1. How does the use of the first person narrator add to the success of this classic tale? Is the narrator reliable? Why or why not?

    2. Foreshadowing is the giving of hints or subtle clues along the way in a story to help prepare the readers for the surprise or twist at the end. Once we know the outcome of the story, those clues seem more obvious and we cannot believe that we missed them.

  • Look back in the story and identify the clues provided by the author that suggest the ending. Make a point form list of these words and phrases.

    3. irony1 rn/ noun noun: irony plural noun: ironies

    1. the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

    Don't go overboard with the gratitude, he rejoined with heavy irony"

    synonyms: sarcasm, causticity, cynicism, mockery, satire, sardonicism "that note of irony in her voice" antonyms: sincerity

    a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one

    expects and is often amusing as a result. "the irony is that I thought he could help me"

    synonyms: paradox, incongruity, incongruousness "the irony of the situation" antonyms: logic

    dramatic irony a literary technique, originally used in Greek tragedy, by which the full significance of a character's words or actions are clear to the audience or reader although unknown to the character.

    a. In which ways are the situations and ending ironic? 4. Which elements of the story create a growing sense of dread? What elements

    contribute to the mounting tension in the atmosphere?

    Part Three: Character Study

    1. Fill in a character chart for the narrator. 2. Answer the following questions about him.

    a. Is he reliable? b. Can you depend on (trust)what he is saying? Why or why not? 3. Write a paragraph in which you explain how Edgar Allan Poe conveys the sense

    that this narrator is mad and that his motivations are not grounded in reality.