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"Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. A...

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shenea | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 22, 2007 at 9:30 AM via web

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"Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. A watch's minute hand moves more quickly ."     

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jamie-wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted October 22, 2007 at 9:35 AM (Answer #1)

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I assume you want some guidance in understanding the quotation?  If so, this is meant to get us into the narrator's state of mind.  He has been watching and waiting for the old man to fall into a deep slumber for over a week.  On the eighth night, it finally happens, but he wants to be sure that he is correct, so he opens the door extremely cautiously so as not to wake him.  The time he takes to be sure he is completely silent seems so excruiatingly long to him that the minute it takes to do so seems more like an interminable hour. 

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