Poe shows the conflict between the narrator's concept of reality and reality itself. He also creates a conflict between the reader and the narrator.
The narrator wants to establish his sanity, which suggests that he has been accused of insanity. As he tells his story, however, it becomes increasingly obvious that he is living in his own reality, one separate from that of other people. He probably is insane. For example, he feels he has to murder the old man because the man has an "Evil Eye." He also wants to silence the man's heartbeat, which he believes he can hear. Later, the narrator apparently hallucinates hearing the pounding heart of the murdered man who he has buried under the floorboards. The narrator's persistent belief in a different reality drives the plot. In reality, the old man appears to have been harmless, not evil. We wonder why the narrator is so in conflict with reality.
Poe also creates a conflict between the narrator's desire to build sympathy for himself and the...
(The entire section contains 3 answers and 551 words.)