In the opening paragraph of "The Tell-Tale Heart," we get an indication that the story might fit into the horror genre. What are some reasons why we might think this?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The opening paragraph should make us feel like something creepy is going on for sure.  First of all, the narrator begins by saying that he’s nervous and assuring us that he’s not crazy.

"The disease had sharpened my senses—not destroyed—not dulled them."

Already we have a sense of disease, decay and worry.  This tells us this might be a spooky story.

If that did not give it away, the following sentence certainly would.

Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell.

 

By focusing specifically on hell, we again get the impression that this is likely to be a horror story.  The narrator says he is going to “calmly” tell us the whole story, another indication that it might be a frightening story

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial