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Examine the first paragraph and how you feel when you read it. Do you know of someone who got in trouble and yammers endless denials, ultimately proving his or her guilt? Poe sets the mood for the story in the first paragraph and continues it until the resolution . The narrator starts with an incomplete thought and then advances to the idea of madness. He admits he has a disease, but claims it has heightened his awareness. It is a classic case of the lunatic claiming he is not mad. His references to hearing things in heaven and hell suggest his mind is unbalanced. Through careful choice of words and out-of-the-ordinary sentence structure, Poe sets a dark, troubling mood.
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