8th Grade Language Arts
“The Tale Tell Heart”
LITERARY FOCUS: NARRATOR
A narrator is a person who tells a story. A story’s narrator may be a character in the story. Another type of narrator is outside the story and observes and reports on the action that takes place. We rely on a story’s narrator to let us know what is going on. But what if the narrator can’t be trusted? As you read “The Tell-Tale Heart,” decide whether or not its narrator is truthful—or even sane.
IRONY: THE UNEXPECTED
Irony is a contrast between expectation and reality. Much of the horror in “The Tell-Tale Heart” comes from Poe’s use of irony. Look for these three basic kinds of irony as you read the story:
• Verbal irony What is said is the opposite of what is meant. • Situational irony What happens is different from or even opposite of what we expected.
• Dramatic irony We know something a character doesn’t know.
Read the following statements. If you agree with them, put a check in the I AGREE column. Then, AFTER we read the story, go back and put a check in the NARRATOR AGREES column if you feel the author agrees with that statement.
1. People who are insane know that they are insane.
2. If you commit a crime, the worst punishment is the guilt
3. Often it’s the small annoying things about people that
can be the most irritating and infuriating.
4. All people are basically afraid of the same things.
5. When you’ve done something wrong, wondering if you’ll be caught can cause great stress and anxiety.
What is your first impression of the narrator? What does he try convincing the reader of? ______________________________________________________________________________________...
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