What motivates the narrator to kill him? We know very little of the old man. From the opening few paragraphs the reader can comfortably surmise that the old man has some amount of wealth (as the narrator pointedly notes that he had no want of his gold. Further one may conclude the old man was of a generally nice manner as he had never wronged nor insulted the killer. The last piece of knowledge we have concerning the old man is that he a has a pale blue eye with an opacity over it. 4) In spite of all his precautions, the narrator does not commit the perfect crime.
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What trips him up? The primary mistake in the killing that led to the killer’s capture was his failure to kill with surprise. The killer yells as he strikes and the old man shrieks once as the fatal blow is struck. This cry had been heard by a neighbor during the night, thus arousing the suspicion of the police who were then dispensed to search the house. 5) How do you account for the police officers’ chatting calmly with the murderer instead of reacting to the sound that stirs the murderer into a frenzy?
The beating of he old man’s heart is only heard by the killer. The reason for this is that the killer is clearly experiencing auditory hallucinations, thus the officers cannot hear the horrible pulsing. One interesting point that further confirms the narrators insanity as opposed to a psychotic break is that he heard the heart beat before the old man was dead. Ultimately the killer breaks down from his delusions and divulges all. I do not believe conscience played any part in the killer’s admission, rather his mental illness is solely responsible for his actions.