Poe is concerned in this story, as in all his literary work, to convey a sense of mood. His desire is to build a mood of growing horror in the reader. He does that through abundant use of imagery, description using any of the five senses of sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell.
Poe's vivid imagery has resulted in his work being amongst the most filmed in the world, as it lends itself to visual—and aural—interpretation. One example of sound imagery in the story is the following. Montresor has almost finished the wall entombing Fortunato—it is at breast level—when Fortunato begins to scream shrilly. Montresor first reacts by pulling out his rapier, but then, sure nobody else is the room, begins to match Fortunato's screams:
I reapproached the wall. I replied to the yells of him who clamored. I re-echoed—I aided—I surpassed them in volume and in strength. I did this, and the clamorer grew still.
There is something horrible about imagining the two men screaming together at the top...
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