The disease had sharpened my senses--not destroyed--not dulled them.

The narrator, in this particular story, adds to the overall effect of horror by continually stressing to the reader that he or she is not mad, and tries to convince us of that fact by how carefully this brutal crime was planned and executed.

Above all was the sense of hearing acute.

A knocking was heard at the door, and when the narrator answered it, he found three men who quickly introduced themselves "...as officers of the police." They told the narrator that a neighbor had reported hearing a shriek in the night, and that they were there conducting an investigation to make sure that no foul play had occurred.


I heard all things in the heavens and in the earth.

I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him."

I heard many things in hell." The narrator repeatedly insists that he(she) is not mad; however the reader soon realizes that the fear of the vulture eye has consumed the narrator, who has now become a victim to the madness which he had hoped to elude.


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John Steinbeck's short story "The Chrysanthemums" is about a proud, strong woman named Elisa Allen who feels frustrated with her present life. Her frustration stems from not having a child and from her husband's failure to admire her romantically as a woman. The only outlet for her frustration is her flower garden where she cultivates beautiful chrysanthemums. Steinbeck uses chrysanthemums as symbols of the inner-self of Elisa and of every woman.

I paced the floor...with heavy strides....Oh, what I do?

I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased." Was it possible that the officers did not hear the sound ?

The protagonist or narrator becomes the true focus of the tale.

"...I felt myself getting pale....My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears....The ringing became more distinct; I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling; but it continued...until, at length, I found that the noise was within my ears....It was ."

However, Poe was a perfectionist who left very little to guesswork.

The narrator brought in chairs and insisted that the officers "...rest from their fatigues...." The narrator brought in another chair, and placed it upon "...the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim."

To the narrator that fear is represented by the old man's eye.

The narrator "...dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him." He did not die at once, but in a short time, the hideous heartbeat stopped; then the narrator removed the bed, and examined the body.