The Tell-Tale Heart Quiz
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  • Question 1
    30 seconds
    Q.

    Foreshadowing occurs when a writer provides hints that suggest future events in a story, and it can help create suspense.

    How does the narrator’s mention of his acute hearing in paragraph 1 foreshadow the old man’s death?

    answer choices

    It foreshadows the point when the old man’s heartbeat drives the narrator to kill him.

    It foreshadows his ability to hear the police coming when they respond to the old man’s murder.

    It foreshadows his decision to murder the old man because he was tired of listening to him.

    It foreshadows the moment when the old man hears the narrator at the door and wakes up.

  • Question 2
    30 seconds
    Q.

    The use of a first-person narrator in the story —

    answer choices

    allows readers to understand each character’s point of view

    helps to explain how the characters are related to each other

    gives readers insight into the narrator’s mental instability

    illustrates how the old man treats the narrator every day

  • Question 3
    30 seconds
    Q.

    Choose the two lines from the story that best support the following idea:

    The narrator cannot escape his guilty conscience.

    answer choices

    I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observation of men—but the noise steadily increased.

    Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me.

    . . . . I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work. . . . .

    . . . . I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definitiveness— until at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.

  • Question 4
    30 seconds
    Q.

    Choose the two lines from the story that best support the following idea:

    The murder does not have a traditional motive.

    answer choices

    I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observation of men—but the noise steadily increased.

    Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me.

    . . . . I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work. . . . .

    . . . . I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definitiveness— until at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.

  • Question 5
    30 seconds
    Q.

    Which statement best describes a major theme of the story?

    answer choices

    Honesty can relieve you of your guilt and help you feel better.

    Fear can shape how we see things and how we act.

    Our sanity is determined by how we react to different situations.

    The truth is a matter of personal perception and beliefs.

  • Question 6
    30 seconds
    Q.

    Which of the following quotes provides the best support for the following theme/main idea:

    Fear can shape how we see things and how we act.

    answer choices

    “Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees — very gradually — I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye for ever.” (Paragraph 2)

    “Yes, he has been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions; but he had found all in vain. All in vain; because Death, in approaching him, had stalked with his black shadow before him, and enveloped the victim.” (Paragraph 7)

    “As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, — for what had I now to fear?” (Paragraph 14)

    “I gasped for breath — and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly — more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased.” (Paragraph 17)

  • Question 7
    30 seconds
    Q.

    In the story, what causes the conflict between the narrator and the old man?

    answer choices

    The narrator and the old man resent having to live together because of the narrator’s disease, and so the narrator decides to murder the old man.

    The narrator is driven mad by the sound of a heart beating beneath the floorboards, and this causes him to kill the old man.

    The narrator watches the old man sleep, and when the terrified old man discovers this, the narrator kills him to keep his madness hidden.

    The narrator is terrified of the old man’s blue eye and overwhelmed by the sound of his heartbeat, so the narrator kills the old man.

  • Question 8
    30 seconds
    Q.

    Which of the following quotes best illustrates the following conflict:

    The narrator is terrified of the old man’s blue eye and overwhelmed by the sound of his heartbeat, so the narrator kills the old man.

    answer choices

    “The disease had sharpened my senses — not destroyed — not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell.” (Paragraph 1)

    “I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise, when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him.” (Paragraph 7)

    “But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me — the sound would be heard by a neighbor! The old man’s hour had come!” (Paragraph 11)

    “‘Villains!’ I shrieked, ‘dissemble no more! I admit the deed! — tear up the planks! — here, here! — it is the beating of his hideous heart!’” (Paragraph 18)

  • Question 9
    30 seconds
    Q.

    Which of the following best describes the significance of the beating heart throughout the story?

    answer choices

    It represents the narrator’s own death, like the old man’s, drawing near as he faces punishment for his crime.

    It shows there is something supernatural happening to the narrator, for the ghost of the old man is haunting him.

    It represents the narrator’s guilt and worsening sanity, for the beating heart serves as a reminder of his crime.

    It signifies the narrator’s anxiety about not burying the old man respectfully after killing him.

  • Question 10
    30 seconds
    Q.

    At the end of the story, why does the narrator tell the officers to “tear up the planks” and therefore unveil the corpse?

    answer choices

    because he wants them to stop smiling at him and punish him

    because he believes they hear the heartbeat and are mocking him

    because he wanted to be caught for the crime all along

    because he knew that they would find the evidence eventually

  • Question 11
    30 seconds
    Q.

    Why does the narrator seat himself and the officers in the room where the body is buried?

    answer choices

    He thinks it is the only way to keep the cops from finding the body.

    He is boastful of how well he hid the body.

    He is worried he will give away the body’s location otherwise.

    He is going mad and wants to torture himself with guilt.

  • Question 12
    30 seconds
    Q.

    Which excerpt from the story illustrates the mood of paranoia?

    answer choices

    It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain.

    I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult.

    Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! - no, no! They heard! They suspected! They knew!

    I smiled, -- for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome.

  • Question 13
    30 seconds
    Q.

    In the line "There came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes hen enveloped in cotton," what does "enveloped in cotton" try to make the reader feel?

    answer choices

    alive

    trapped

    threatened

    serious

  • Question 14
    30 seconds
    Q.

    What tone is represented in the line "You should have seen how wisely I proceeded -- with what caution - with what foresight -- with what dissimulation I went to work"?

    answer choices

    focused

    furious

    grieving

    apathetic

  • Question 15
    30 seconds
    Q.

    Which detail about the narrator's personality ironically makes him appear the most psychotic?

    answer choices

    He hears imaginary heartbeats.

    He is so careful to hide everything he does.

    He kills the old man.

    He tries to convince the reader of his sanity.

  • Question 16
    30 seconds
    Q. From what POV is "The Tale-Tell Heart" written?
    answer choices
    first person
    second person
    third person limited
    third person unreliable
  • Question 17
    30 seconds
    Q. What is it about the old man that bothers the narrator?
    answer choices
    His personality
    His face
    His home
    His eye
  • Question 18
    30 seconds
    Q. How does the narrator describe the eye?
    answer choices
    He says it is beautiful.
    He says it is very focused.
    He says it is the eye of a vulture.
    He says it is all-seeing.
  • Question 19
    30 seconds
    Q. Does the narrator hate the old man?
    answer choices
    yes
    no
  • Question 20
    30 seconds
    Q. What does the narrator do each night?
    answer choices
    He sneaks out of the house.
    He watches the old man while he sleeps.
    He hides in the attic. 
    He stares out the window.
  • Question 21
    30 seconds
    Q. How does the narrator act towards the old man during the day?
    answer choices
    He is rude to him.
    He is abusive to him.
    He ignores him.
    He is friendly and kind.
  • Question 22
    30 seconds
    Q. What happens at the climax of the story?
    answer choices
    The narrator kills the old man.
    The narrator welcomes the police into the house.
    The narrator confesses his crime.
    The narrator watches the old man while he sleeps.
  • Question 23
    30 seconds
    Q. Why doesn't the narrator fear being caught?
    answer choices
    He is actually a police officer himself.
    He flees the scene of the crime.
    He didn't actually do it.
    He is sure he hid the body well.
  • Question 24
    30 seconds
    Q. We can infer that the narrator confessed because
    answer choices
    the police already knew.
    he saw blood on the floor.
    he felt guilty.
    the body smelled.
  • Question 25
    120 seconds
    Q.

    The author builds suspense by--

    answer choices

    not revealing what the crime will be

    having the narrator watch the sleeping victim for seven nights in a row.

    having the narrator explain how clever he is

    describing what is done with the victim's body

  • Question 26
    60 seconds
    Q.

    What is the central message of "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

    answer choices

    From love comes sacrifice

    Guilt can drive you mad.

    With murder comes joy.

    Do not trust your elders.

  • Question 27
    60 seconds
    Q.

    By telling this story from the murderer's point of view, the author helps the reader

    answer choices

    recognize the narrator's insanity

    understand the old man's thoughts

    compare both of the character's thoughts

    understand why the police have come

  • Question 28
    60 seconds
    Q.

    The author describes the sound that narrator hears beneath the floorboards as a heartbeat. This is a symbol of what human emotion?

    answer choices

    Happiness

    Anger

    Despair

    Guilt

  • Question 29
    60 seconds
    Q.

    The author most likely used the following expression to--- ?

    “One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture –.”

    answer choices

    Convey the importance of the heartbeat sound.

    To compare the eye to something associated with death – the vulture.

    Personifies the eye so that it becomes a human character.

    Exaggerates the ugliness of the eye to influence the reader.

  • Question 30
    60 seconds
    Q.

    What appears to be the narrator's claim throughout the selection?

    answer choices

    That he did not kill the old man

    That he should not be sent to jail

    That he is not mad

    That the old man had o die

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