The exposition of a story is the background knowledge given to show the reader a general who, what, when, and where of the story's setting. In "The Tell-Tale Heart," Edgar Allan Poe gives many details to help the reader to understand the setting. For instance, the main character tells us immediately that the old man's eye was scary to him, and he decided he had to kill him to "rid [him]self of the eye forever." He then describes how he sneaks into the old man's bedroom every night to look and see whether that creepy eye is open. Every morning, he wakes the old man and pretends nothing is the matter. This is essentially the background, or "exposition," of the story, before all of the real action begins.