Furthermore, as in works like "The Cask of Amontillado," the moans of the victim heighten the terror of the story.
The old man's moans were "low stifled sounds that arose from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe." The narrator knew that the old man felt that he was in the room and, dramatically, when he opened his lantern to let a small ray of light out, it "fell full upon the vulture eye." When he saw that "hideous veiled eye," he became furious.
Summary Even though this is one of Poe's shortest stories, it is nevertheless a profound and, at times, ambiguous investigation of a man's paranoia.
The story gains its intensity by the manner in which it portrays how the narrator stalks his victim — as though he were a beast of prey; yet, at the same time, elevated by human intelligence to a higher level of human endeavor, Poe's "murderer" is created into a type of grotesque anomaly.
But he warns the reader not to mistake his "over-acuteness of the senses" for madness because he says that suddenly there came to his ears "a low, dull, quick sound": It was the beating of the old man's heart.
Essay Tell Tale Heart Cask Amontillado
It is at this point in the story that we have our first ambiguity based upon the narrator's over-sensitivity and madness.
The question is, obviously, whose heart does he hear?
We all know that in moments of stress and fright our own heartbeat increases so rapidly that we feel every beat.
'" He can see nothing because the shutters are all closed.
Here, as in most of Poe's stories, the action proper of the story takes place within a closed surrounding — that is, the murder of the old man is within the confines of his small bedroom with the shutters closed and in complete darkness.