He Told Me, I Never Told Him

Edgar Allan Poe had written the original version of The Tell-Tale Heart by using the first-person perspective in order to better express the main character’s feelings. In my version of The Tell-Tale Heart, I chose to use third person omniscient by telling the story from a neighbor’s point of view to show how the neighbors thought of the ‘Mad Man”.

I always thought there was always something wrong with him – the madman, the madman who was locked into prison for murder. He was normal, he ate normal, he walked normal, everything was normal, but that all turns into dust when he starts talking about his story; his story about how he got into prison.


He told me it was open – wide, wide open – and he grew furious as he gazed upon it. He saw it with perfect distinctness – all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones; but he could see nothing else of the old man’s face or person; for he had directed the ray as if by instinct, precisely upon the damned spot.


‘And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses?’ The madman claimed to be ‘just an ordinary person’ there came to his ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. He claims to know that sound well, the beating of the old man’s heart. It increased his fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.


‘But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed, I held the lantern motionlessly. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon my eye.’ He whispered to me, face motionless. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder every instant. The old man’s terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, he said, louder every moment!


“Do you mark me well? I have told you that I am nervous; so I am.”


And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited him to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer he refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder, louder! He thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized him – the sound would be heard by me! The old man’s hour had come!


But he will never know that I was the one who called the police.


One thought on “He Told Me, I Never Told Him

  1. Hi Amy!

    I really liked your point of view from the story and how the madman talks to this neighbor sometimes. I think the best part of this (even though all of this was amazing) was in the last sentence when the neighbor goes “but he will never know that I was the one who called the police”. Cool!

    Great Job!

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