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“The Imp of the Perverse” by Edgar Allan Poe is a piece of horror and psychological fiction that explores the impulse to do wrong for wrong’s sake alone. In the short story, a murderous narrator revels in the idea that he may have achieved the perfect crime. With this bundle of high school resources covering “The Imp of the Perverse,” English teachers will save valuable time at home without sacrificing rigor in the classroom. Included are the following: a multiple choice, plot-based quiz; a worksheet composed of rigorous close reading analysis questions; the public domain narrative; and answer keys. Materials are delivered in printable Word Document and PDF formats. 

By completing the quiz, students will demonstrate knowledge of the following:

  • The principles of phrenology
  • The narrator’s assessment of phrenology
  • The narrator’s understanding of perverseness
  • The location from which the narrator shares his account
  • The means by which the narrator committed his crime
  • How the narrator learned of the murder method
  • The immediate results of the murder
  • How the narrator’s mind shifts over time
  • The narrator’s repeated motto
  • How the public comes to learn of the narrator’s crime
  • The narrator’s ponderings in the resolution

By completing the close reading analysis worksheet, students will:

  • Articulate what is stated in the text explicitly and implicitly
  • Articulate the significance of phrenology from the narrator’s perspective
  • Discern the tone of a given paragraph
  • Discern the function of a given paragraph
  • Apply knowledge of situational irony
  • Explore character motivations
  • Discern where the narrative’s climax occurs
  • Analyze the author’s craft to explain the reason Poe chose to compare the narrator’s thoughts to waves
  • Demonstrate knowledge of characterization
  • Articulate an internal conflict in context
  • Cite textual evidence in support of inferences and claims
  • Write with clarity and precision