What is the mood and setting of "The Tell-tale Heart"?

Expert Answers
sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The mood is also, as is true in many of Poe's story, one of suspense.  The night time observance of the old man, the murder, and the interview with the police are all seasons that rely upon the suspense of the reader to be effective.  Will the narrator actually kill him?  Will he confess?  These are questions that are lingered upon in detail before the answers are revealed.

brendawm eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although not specific, “The Tell-Tale Heart” seems to be set within a house shared by the old man and his killer;  there is some suggestion of a family relationship, as the  narrator says that he loved his victim but “he did not covet the old man’s wealth.”  There is a mood of paranoia throughout the story as the narrator is obsessed with the idea of the  old man’s eyes, “a pale-blue, film-covered eye like that of a vulture, that he could not stand” and the “evil eye” causes his blood to run cold. The mood actually wavers between that of sheer insanity as the narrator expresses maniacal glee at the prospect of doing away with his tormentor and paranoia after the heart beat begins to drive him mad.

Here is a film adaptation of the story:

tunabox7 | Student

The mood of the Tell Tale Heart is definitely one of suspense!!!!

soccerstarrr24 | Student

You guys all have the mood correct but you are a little shaking on the details of the setting.  Yes, he is in the house of the old man, but why?  The answer is simple, he is his caretaker, not a family member.  There are numerous details explaining that but I'm not going to go into detail, I am rather hoping that the light bulb already went on.  The house is rather big because the old man is rather wealthy.  Like you all have said, the mood is mysterious, insane, horrific, or whatever your want to say along those lines.  He creates the mood using similes, repeated words, visual images, and sounds.

tays194 | Student

The mood is madness for the narrator claiming that he, with the nervous desease he was not mad. I believe that he was for the eye haunting him and that he loved the old man?

weddanever | Student

the mood of the story is a little bit mysterious having to know that Edgar Allan Poe is the inventor of detective-fiction genre. the setting of the story was in the house of the old man at the span of time for atmost 8 days.