GCSE COURSEWORK 19TH century style newspaper article of The tell-tale heart by Edgar Allan Poe

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Brutal murder of Sir Edward Grames.

“I loved the old man, he never wronged me, he had never given me insult.” He pauses, a mad glint coming into his eye at the mention of the man he killed, cut into pieces and whose remains he then hid under the floorboards. Yes, the man facing me is no normal man, but a devil in human form. What was it that enabled him to perform such a brutal ritual? It was the old man’s Eye, he answers. “His Evil Eye.” The man shudders “Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold.” He starts to say something, but I wish to hear no more. I call to the officers; this man is clearly mad. “You think me mad? Madmen know nothing!” he cries as they escort him back to his cell.

At first sight, he has the appearance of a perfectly normal, sane man.

Calm, neatly dressed, a perfect gentleman. He is from the country, he tells me; he came to London in search of business opportunities. He first met Sir Edward when he sent an application to his company, in desperate need of money, and with little working experience. He begged him to give him a chance, and Sir Grames, out of the kindness of his heart, not only gave him the job, but offered him a room in his house.

When Officers Mark Wellington, Peter Stanford and Fredric Sparrow responded to a distress call the early morning of the second day of June, nothing could have prepared them for what they were to discover. Around midnight, Miss Imelda Montgomery, neighbour of Sir Grames, alerted the police when she heard a horrific scream from the house next door. “I was not yet asleep due to the fact that my youngest daughter is ill with the flue in bed. She had had a bad bout of fever that day and I was tending to her, when I heard truly blood-curdling shriek from Sir Edward’s house. I immediately hastened to inform the police.” However, it was not until about four o’clock that the police arrived at Sir Edwards’s house.

“A young man opened the door,” explained Officer Stanford. “We questioned him about the shriek, and he claimed that it had been his own in a dream. This seemed highly unlikely, and we were immediately on our guard. He claimed that the old man was not in the country at present, and bade us to search the house. After we made a detailed examination of the house, be bade us to sit in the old man’s sleeping chamber to rest from our fatigues. While he was away to find us chairs, we discussed and came to the equivalent conclusion that the man is hiding something. We decided that the best way to act in this situation is to continue to act normally and without suspicion. When he returned with the chairs, we conversed in a casual manner for a period of time, but then we saw the man growing pale, He started to talk with a heightened voice. He suddenly gasped for breath, he talked more quickly, more vehemently. We pretended not to notice the man’s obvious distress, hoping to learn more. The man was quickly losing all grip on his sanity; his voice heightened, he paced the floor with heavy strides, he foamed, raved and swore. Still we pretended not to notice, but continued chatting pleasantly. Finally, he shrieked ‘Villains! Dissemble no more! I admit the deed!- tear up the planks!- here, here!- it is the beating of his hideous heart’With that confession, Officer Wellington and I rushed to remove the planks, while Officer Sparrow handcuffed the man and escorted him to the station. Nothing could have prepared us for the horrific sight of the dismembered corpse that met our eyes. The corpse was already beginning to evict a smell, and we informed the local undertaker to come and collect the corpse as soon as possible. The man has not yet been identified, and refuses to tell us his name. Our prison physician, doctor Allen Wells, is currently examining him to try to find the cause of his apparent mental illness. “During one of our therapy sessions, he admitted to having a disease that had sharpened his senses. He claims to have heard many things in heaven and hell. But when I asked him to explain what disease this was or how he had gotten it, he could or would not answer.”What is this mysterious disease? Possibilities that this man may not be mad at all have even arisen. Doctor Allen speculates that this, however unlikely, must be considered a possibility. “We must be careful not to have clouded judgement by what the world today considers possible or impossible, and to be open-minded in all situations. His actions may be those of a madman, but yet he does not show any other outward signs that he is mentally disturbed. We know that this was not an impulsive act, he planned it to the smallest detail.” We know this because when we questioned the man, he informed us that he had been to Sir Edward’s room for the past seven days, and would open a tiny crevice in the lantern he carried. However, due to the fact that the man’s eye was closed every time, could not complete the ‘task’ “For it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye” It was only on the eight night that Sir Edward awoke. “I resolved to open a little, a very little crevice in the lantern I was carrying , until at length, a single dim ray, shot from the crevice and full upon the vulture eye” How was it possible that the ray of light fell directly on the eye? Was the man lying, or was this coincidence?”“The possibility that he may really have a disease that gives him almost supernatural abilities such as acute hearing, and possibly a sixth sense, should be carefully investigated.” Doctor Allen continued, “The likelihood that there really was an Evil presence in the eye of Sir Edward must not be ignored.” However, the public has scorned this statement and declared it not only illogical, but also appalling. Miss Imelda Montgomery claimed that it was “a disgrace to Sir Edward’s memory, for I had yet to meet a kinder soul in this world.” As the man does not appear to be sane, there will be no hearing to pass judgment on him, but instead, he will be transferred to a secure environment for further observations. In time, perhaps we will discover the true nature of this man, and what caused him to go to such drastic measures to rid himself of this man’s eye.

Bibliography: The Red Room By Edgar Allan Poe