Poe's Stories

Poe's Stories

The unfortunate nemesis of the delusional narrator of The Tell-Tale Heart. His vulture-like, evil eye torments the narrator. Yet other than his eye there is nothing to indicate that the old man is anything other than a normal, old man. The old man's terror in the moments before the narrator kills him make the old man seem suddenly more human than the narrator, and the murder is chillingly heartless.

The Old Man Quotes in Poe's Stories

The Poe's Stories quotes below are all either spoken by The Old Man or refer to The Old Man. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of Poe's Stories published in 2006.
The Tell-Tale Heart Quotes

I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture.

Related Characters: Narrator (The Tell-Tale Heart) (speaker), The Old Man
Related Symbols: Eyes
Page Number: 187
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Old Man Character Timeline in Poe's Stories

The timeline below shows where the character The Old Man appears in Poe's Stories. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Tell-Tale Heart
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Dead and the Living Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Self, Solitude, and Consciousness Theme Icon
...that there was no passion that provoked it. Instead, it was a strange feature of the old man he lives with, that one of his eyes was different from the other and had... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Dead and the Living Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
...methodical, patient way that he goes about the murder. For seven nights, he creeps to the old man ’s bedroom door, opens the latch, puts an unlit lantern into the room and carefully... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Self, Solitude, and Consciousness Theme Icon
...the narrator of "Tell-Tale Heart" is particularly gleeful about his sneakiness. He marvels at how the old man knows nothing of his plan. He even laughs a little to himself. But then he... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Dead and the Living Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Self, Solitude, and Consciousness Theme Icon
For an hour, the narrator of "Tell-Tale Heart" keeps very still and can sense the old man is awake, listening for intruders. The narrator says he knows what this is like. And... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Dead and the Living Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Self, Solitude, and Consciousness Theme Icon
After a while, without any change to the old man ’s obvious alertness, the narrator of "Tell-Tale Heart" opens the shutter a tiny bit and... (full context)