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Edgar Allan Poe: The Man of the Crowd
On page 164 of class's anthology there is a work by Edgar Allan Poe entitled "The Man of the Crowd." hat interests me about this work is the way that Poe deals with the horror or loneliness and isolation that is so much a part of humanity. In this connection, the question that I want to research is whether this loneliness is really recognized in the story as being something causing horror and pain, or whether Poe cannot truly make the reader see his concern regarding this issue. In other words, is what Poe claims realistic, or is it just something created to frighten the reader?
In his story, Poe deals with the concept of the loneliness that humanity faces and how much horror he believes it brings to most people. Because of the way he tells the story he sounds like…… [Read More]
Both stories told of men who dared to escape their fate, whether it was inevitable death from a plague or the dire consequences of his action, these men seek means to remove themselves from their environment and distance themselves from their actions. Prince Prospero used his wealth as a shield, and he honestly thought he managed to bar Death from his gates. Death cannot be and will never be denied. There are no doors strong enough and no walls high enough to keep it out. Justice, on the other hand, will always be served. It matters not that what you did, whether it was right or wrong, you will receive what's coming to you. The man felt more the relief over the loss of the cat, than the grief over the loss of his wife. This perverse sense caused his madness to grow, fed it until it mirrored sanity, still…… [Read More]
After his mother died in 1811, Poe became a ward of John Allan, a wealthy Richmond merchant. he Allan family lived in the United Kingdom from 1815 to 1820 before returning to Richmond. In 1826, Poe enrolled at the University of Virginia. He had to drop out later due to a gambling debt he could not afford to pay. His first book was published in 1827 and three years later her entered West Point where he excelled in the study of languages. But he was expelled in 1831 for neglecting his duties. In 1836, Poe married Virginia Clemm, his 13-year-old cousin and received his first editorial job at Richmond's the Messenger. Poe's later years were colored by economic hardship and ill health. On October 3, he was found semiconscious and delirious outside a tavern. he cause of his death four days later was listed as congestion of the brain, though…… [Read More]
Another Poe classic short story entitled the Tell Tale Heart also displayed his unique way of gaining the attention of the reader by use of dark and gloomy descriptions. This story is about going mad and losing one's mind. Poe may have really experienced this process as this story definitely takes a personal tone. The reader cannot help to feel the chaotic feelings that madness brings when grasping the Poe's words: " TUE! - nervous - very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses - not destroyed - not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? " Once again Poe takes the first person narrative as the route to…… [Read More]
atson, and his several forays into the real world to solve mysteries that confounded others. In this regard, Magistrale reports that, "Dupin solves crimes in part from his ability to identify with the criminal mind. He is capable of empathizing with the criminal psyche because Dupin himself remains essentially isolated from the social world" (21). In fact, Dupin also has a "sidekick" who serves as his narrator. According to Durham (2003), "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," as well as its two sequels, "The Mystery of Marie Roget" and "The Purloined Letter," are both "set in Paris and feature a Frenchman, C. Auguste Dupin, whose adventures are narrated by an unnamed American friend. Dupin's ability to resolve the most puzzling of crimes by the methodical application of his superior powers of reason" (82).
The principal motivating factor for their crime-solving for both Holmes and Dupin were similar as well. For…… [Read More]
The narrator proceeds to ask the raven a series of questions to which the raven only responds "nevermore," driving the man mad with its lack of answers. The poem ends presumably with the raven still sitting on the bust in the man's house. The questions the man asks are all purposely self-deprecating and demonstrate a strong loneliness that exists in him. This possibly represents Poe trying to relieve himself of some guilt and loneliness. Also, the narrator begins the poem as weak and weary, but becomes so grief-stricken that he ends in madness much like Poe at the end of his life. hen a person's life is dark, it is expected that their creative works will be dark as well, and Poe certainly fits this belief.
One of Poe's most famous stories is "The Cask of Amontialldo." The story is about a man, Montresor, who plans on killing his friend…… [Read More]
Poe and Detective Fiction
Edgar Allan Poe's Influence on Detective Fiction
hile many people do not relate Edgar Allan Poe with detective fiction and is best known for his tales of the grotesque and macabre, Poe is in fact the father of modern detective fiction. Through his mystery stories, which include "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Mystery of Marie Roget," and "The Purloined Letter," Poe was able to establish a framework of detective motifs that would help to define the genre and would later be applied to other works of detective fiction. Through his three detective stories, which are part of a series that feature C. Auguste Dupin as the eccentric and genius detective, Poe defined five different elements that should be present in order to construct a successful mystery story.
In order for any detective story to be successful, Poe contended that a crime had to occur.…… [Read More]
Edgar Allan Poe's the Tell-Tale Heart
Edgar Allen Poe's short story, The Tell-Tale Heart, may be the best example of gothic fiction ever written. In it, Poe uses every aspect of story-telling to help contribute to the atmospheric intensity of the story. This utilization of every aspect of the storytelling process results in a gothic feeling that permeates every detail in the story. hen the story opens, one realizes that Poe's narrative technique, which is to have a first-person narrator tell the story, contributes tremendously to the gothic nature of the tale. This is because the narrator quickly reveals himself to be unreliable, perhaps even mentally ill. The fact that the narrator is unreliable makes it difficult to discern the character of the people in the story. The narrator paints himself as an unsympathetic character, capable of gleeful murder but also trying to claim he feels remorse for those actions.…… [Read More]
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) was an American writer well-known for his macabre poems and short stories. ritten before his death in 1849, "Annabel Lee" keeps in line with many of his previous poems and centers around the theme of the death of a beautiful woman.
"Annabel Lee" features an unnamed narrator pining for the lost Annabel Lee with whom he claims he has an eternal bond. In "Annabel Lee," the narrator states he and Annabel Lee "loved with a love that was more than love -- / [He] and [his] Annabel Lee;/ith a love that the winged seraphs of heaven/Coveted her and [he]" (Poe 9-12). The narrator believes that their love was so strong that it made the angels in Heaven jealous and thus they took Annabel Lee from him to end their relationship. The narrator is convinced that jealousy is the only reason the two were torn apart and…… [Read More]
Poe establishes at this point how in the viewpoint of an insane individual, the line distinguishing insanity from rational thinking becomes blurry. Indeed, the Mad Man's illusion that he is not insane and was fortunate to experience a "sharpening of the senses" was one way of illustrating this blurring of distinction between illusion and reality, sanity and insanity. The Mad Man did not realize that murdering the old man because of his blue eye is irrational; for him, the threatening feeling that he experiences whenever he sees the blue eye is reason enough for him to kill the eyes' owner, who is the old man. In this example, his illusion is that the blue eye is watching and threatening him, while the reality is that he killed the old man because of this perceived threat.
The emotional instability that the Mad Man experienced became evident as the story draws to…… [Read More]
The narrator of "Amontillado" uses wine to lure Fortunato into the recesses of the city, where the latter meets his slow and agonizing end. As such, both narrators clearly state their tormentor's favorite things, which would be used towards their demise: "In painting and gemmary, Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack, but in the matter of old wines he was sincere."
In "Hop Frog," the narrator opens his story with "I never knew anyone so keenly alive to a joke as the king was." Both references to the favorite skills practiced by the culprits occur close to the beginning of the story, foreshadowing the climax later. Both narrators also provide the climax to their stories close to the end.
The fictional style in which each story is told differs significantly. It is mentioned above that the narrator in "Hop Frog" uses a light, conversational tone for his story. He…… [Read More]
Edgar Allan Poe namely, The Raven, Annabel Lee and the Spirit of the Dead. This paper compares the themes and tones of the three poems. This paper also lays emphasis on some events that took place in the poet's life and eventually drove him into writing such poetry. The paper also reviews the conditions, which lead to the death of a great poet, Edgar Allan Poe.
Analysis of Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allen Poe, an American writer, is one of the well renowned poets of all times. Even though he died a long time ago his poems and short stories are still read with a lot of interest. He describes his poems with the most resplendent of imagination and vocabulary. Poe, a great poet and a critic is famous as the first master of the short story form, especially tales of the mysterious and macabre (Edgar Allan Poe,…… [Read More]
Their marriage and mutual love of animals makes this a situation that bespeaks long lasting happiness. One of the family pet is a black cat that is fairly large and the man's favorite. This cat is well liked, and unlike the disposition of cats that is aloof and independent, this cat follows his master wherever he goes, even out doors. The wife based on some superstitions has her misgivings about the cat, Pluto, believing that all black cats are actually witches in disguise. Disabused of this notion by her husband and with her general love for all animals, she immediately puts aside her fears.
It is possible that Poe here hints at his own alcoholism and indirectly blames it on witchcraft that comes from the black cat, though the role of the cat is one of an innocent animal. As the protagonist slowly sinks into alcoholism, he becomes ill tempered…… [Read More]
befriending natives is a key aspect in Edgar Allan Poe's novel "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket." Consequent to experiencing a series of stressful episodes, the central character, Arthur Gordon Pym, develops interest in exploring new territories and in learning more about the world. His interaction with natives on the island of Tsalal further contributes to showing the writer's tendency to relate to ideas that are somewhat connected to the concept of exploration. At the same time, this emphasizes the traditional interaction between explorers and natives on new lands -- a relationship based on profit and likely to have a violent aftermath.
hile the novel covers a series of other topics previous to discussing with regard to whiteness and blackness, this particular topic seems to be much more dramatic in comparison to the others. Pym experienced significant distress as he almost died on several occasions, saw people being…… [Read More]
Edgar Allan Poe
In the course of his short career as writer, Edgar Allan Poe wrote numerous literary pieces, a majority of which were compiled into books only after his death. Poe published only one novel, in 1838, titled "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym" and many books of poetry, with the most popular being "The Raven and Other Poems," published in 1845. His chief source of income was, editing magazines and writing. The modern world recognizes him among the foremost American novelists/poets to establish himself as a key figure in the literary world (E-notes).
Despite his fairly short literary career, Poe dominated the mid-19th century in short story-writing . The era was marked by a shift from legendary tales to short stories. The writer was known for his experiments with multiple genres and writing styles, including satire, science fiction, gothic fiction, and occult fantasies. In addition, he has, to…… [Read More]
Death of Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe's Mysterious Death
Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most well-known American Gothic writers whose works, criticisms, and literary theories helped to establish and inspire a variety of literary genres across the globe. Although Poe is often believed to have been an opium-addicted drunkard, his literary executor, Rufus Wilmot Griswold, attributed this posthumous reputation to Poe. Poe led a tumultuous life, however, he found success as an author, critic, editor, and poet. Despite the claims that Poe death can be attributed to tuberculosis, alcohol withdrawals, or "congestion of the brain," the true cause of his demise remains a mystery, though several theories have been formulated to try and explain the causes behind Poe's death.
Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809 in oston, Massachusetts to David and Elizabeth Arnold Poe, who at the time were traveling actors. Shortly thereafter, David…… [Read More]
women in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," "Annabel Lee," and "The Fall of the House of Usher."
Poe's tragic personal past with women in his life, notably the loss of both his wife and mother to tragic illness (Benton), is clearly reflected within all three of Poe's masterful works. In "The Raven" Poe faces the truth that the shadow on his heart over the death of the "rare and radiant" Lenore will never be lifted. Further, in "Annabel Lee," Poe once again mourns the tragic death of a beautiful woman whom he loved dearly. In "The Fall of the House of Usher" Poe again explores the loss of a young, beautiful woman who dies tragically before her time. However, this story explores Poe's horror and terror at the circumstance of the young woman's death, rather than a simple exploration of his grief, as seen in "The Raven" and "Annabel Lee."…… [Read More]
Fiction in Edgar Allan Poe's the Cask of Amontillado
This paper presents a detailed examination of one of Edgar Allan Poe's works. The writer of this paper uses The Cask of Amontillado to illustrate how the elements of fiction can be used in works of literature. There was one source used to complete this paper.
THE ELEMENTS OF FICTION
Throughout our history, authors of literary works have strived to provide their readers with stories that are concise as well as structured. orks of fiction, often times have to be more structured and believable than non-fiction so that it can be taken to heart as a story that may actually happen.
In Edgar Allan Poe's The Cask of Amontillado he uses all the elements of fiction to bring his story alive. If the story were missing some of the elements it would fall short of being a believable and viable work…… [Read More]
It is also a description of the symptoms a man that has fallen under the abuse of alcohol is showing, symptoms that often go to the schizophrenia and may cause him act against everything that we Humans call humanly and are confident that makes the difference. There are a few lights cast on traits and acts that make us not equal or worse than animals, they just reduce us to the state of beasts, no matter if we knowingly hurt one of our human fellows or one of our pets. We have to think harder and to acknowledge that the line is very thin and very easily to cross. We appreciate our pets for their "sagacity" which brings them closer to us, but we forget that they are still animals and we admire the courage and the strength of our fellows when they go to war, but we forget that…… [Read More]
The narrator seems to lose everything when he loses Ligeia and he demonstrates no desire to regain what he was knew of life. He is "crushed to the very dust with sorrow" (Poe Ligeia 131) and he can "no longer endure the lonely desolation of my dwelling" (131). These examples illustrate pain that attempts to come to terms with death but cannot. Poe found that through his characters, he could at least express the sorrow he experienced.
It can be no wonder that death emerges in so many of Poe's stories. Death and dying are synonymous with Poe's name and it stands for good reason. Poe was not simply trying to write horror stories simply for the sake of writing them; he was attempting to cope with death the only the way that he could. His drinking was a manifestation of the inability to cope completely with his loss and…… [Read More]
Edgar Allan Poe did not have a happy childhood or life. The torment that he faced in his lifetime is reflected in his works. His father (David Poe Jr.) had abandoned the family when he was just 2 years old and his mother died soon after. He was placed in the care of a childless couple, John and Frances Allan, who doted on him but he was never legally adopted. He was to lament the loss of his parents by remarking, "The want of parental affection has been the heaviest of my trials." (Poe "Letter to Judge Beverly Tucker.")
The situation at the time that he wrote "MS. Message in a Bottle" at the age of 24 in 1933 was no different. Before that age, Poe had already gone through much in his life. He had been an unpopular figure at school, often taunted as son of…… [Read More]
ole of Madness in Edgar Allan Poe's "Tales of Terror"
This paper will explore the role of madness in three of Edgar Allan Poe's "Tales of Terror," specifically "The Tell-Tale Heart," first published in the Pioneer of Boston in January of 1843 and edited by the American poet James ussell Lowell; "The Cask of Amontillado," first published in Godey's Lady Book of Philadelphia in November of 1846, a highly popular periodical owned and operated by Louis Antoine Godey and "The Fall of the House of Usher," originally printed in Burton's Gentleman's Magazine of Philadelphia in September of 1839. This trilogy stands today as the quintessential examples of Poe's application of psychological madness as manifested through the words and actions of the unknown narrators in "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Fall of the House of Usher" and the vengeful Montresor in "The Cask of Amontillado."
Edgar Allan Poe's "Tales of Terror"
As…… [Read More]
The unnamed narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe almost immediately reveals himself to be unreliable and untrustworthy, in terms of his ability to present events as they actually are. The narrator claims he killed an old man because of the man’s evil eye. But his description of the eye suggests that he believes that the eye almost has disembodied evil, a life of its own beyond that of the old man himself. “He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees --very gradually --I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever” (Poe). The narrator becomes fixated on minutiae, upon the eye, rather than upon any logical harm that could be perpetuated by the eye.…… [Read More]
Poe's famous poem, "The Raven," to most readers is a straightforward yet haunting, chilling tale of the loss of someone loved, and the troubling emotions and inner sensations that go along with a loss, no matter how the loss occurred. In this case, the "rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore..." is the one lost. hy did an angel name Lenore, one has to wonder? Is there something associated with death or the afterlife in this image?
In fact Poe builds up the beauty of "lost Lenore" in sharp contrast to him saying that it was a "bleak December," and "each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor" and adds that when he awoke from his nap, and looked out his chamber door, there was only darkness "and nothing more."
So the poet is giving a narrator's identity as a person who hears a…… [Read More]
Such evidence as there is can be taken up at a later time. But of one thing we can be sure. If Virginia was the prototype of Eleonora she was not the model for Morella or Berenice or Ligeia."(Quinn, 255)
These feelings can also be inferred from Poe's letters to Mrs. Clemm, Virginia's mother:
I am blinded with tears while writing this letter-- I have no wish to live another hour. Amid sorrow, and the deepest anxiety your letter reached -- and you well know how little I am able to bear up under the pressure of grief -- My bitterest enemy would pity me could he now read my heart -- My last my only hold on life is cruelly torn away -- I have no desire to live and will not but let my duty be done. I love, you know I love Virginia passionately devotedly. I cannot…… [Read More]
While Poe relates these as true stories, as opposed to the works of his own imagination, one can't but read them also as the fantastical longing of husband wanting to deny death's ability to separate him from his beloved wife.
After Virginia died, Poe went on a frenzied search for a female replacement. Not that any woman could have truly replaced Virginia in his eyes, but only that he found himself quite incapable of maintaining himself without a woman's influence. Poe pursued and was briefly engaged to poetess Sarah Helen Whitman, however the engagement dissolved largely due to Poe's growing reputation as a drunk. After Whitman, Poe passionately pursued Annie ichmond, though for her marriage to another man, their relations remained platonic. At the same time Poe was writing impassioned love letters to ichmond, he formed yet further platonic bonds with Sarah Anne Lewis, and poetess Susan Archer Talley. Finally,…… [Read More]
Edgar Allen Poes story "The Cask Amontillado" You write, setting, theme story, point veiw, plt, language signifagace story. THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO Edgar Allan Poe (1846) THE thousand injuries Fortunato I borne I, ventured insult I vowed revenge.
Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" - analysis
Edgar Allen Poe's 1846 short story "The Cask of Amontillado" puts across an account involving a vindictive character who tries to reinforce his self-esteem by luring the person he considers his enemy into a situation that would do him justice. It is difficult to determine whether the aggressor actually has the reasons to punish his enemy or if he is simply insane and uses an unspecified event as a motive to go through with committing his crime. However, his insanity is controversial when considering the complex nature of the plot and the obvious feeling of satisfaction that the protagonist experiences as he acknowledges that his…… [Read More]
Edgar Allen Poe and Lewis Carroll: Unhealthy and Healthy Relationships With Women
Edgar Allan Poe and Lewis Carroll are two writers where their relationships with women, and especially with young children have been questioned. The main issue with Poe is his marriage to his 13-year-old cousin Virginia. For Carroll, the issue is the strong relationships he had with young girls. For both writers, suggestions have been made that their relationships with young women are perverse. To consider these claims it is necessary to look at the types of relationships each writer had with young women and the reasoning for these relationships. A consideration of this will show that Edgar Allan Poe does have unhealthy relationships with women, while Lewis Carroll has healthy relationships with women.
Edgar Allan Poe has a history of choosing inappropriate relationships. This began when Poe was attending private school, when he fell in love with a…… [Read More]
Edgar Allan Poe and Hannibal
Edgar Allan Poe was more than a horror storywriter. He was a person that delved into the human psyche and created a psychological thriller that haunted the reader's mind well after the conclusion was made.
Poe has delved into the human spirit at a time when the idea of the unconscious mind had probably either not evolved, or had just been described and was not commonly known. In his stories of horror, Poe explored in depth the human psyche. Poe was a critic of rationalism but at the same time he was a master in the art of constructing, logically, the irrational 'rationale' for crime committed by his characters. Poe lived a difficult and rather impoverished life, and was himself often given to alcoholism in his private life and the narrator's fears and contradictions that the author describes are something he might have experienced himself.…… [Read More]
Edgar Allen Poe is one of the most famous American authors, but many of his works are not explicitly about the American experience. His "gothic" fiction is filled with suspense, the macabre, the grotesque, and the dark side of human nature. However, a deeper analysis of Poe's works can reveal parallels between his fiction and the American experience. One of Poe's works that can particularly symbolize and exemplify the American experience is his short story "The Fall of the House of Usher." While Poe may not have intended the symbolism and motifs in "The Fall of the House of Usher" to represent the American experience, there are several elements in the story that show that the author was at least on some level aware of the connection. In several ways, Edgar Allen Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" is a parable of the American experience because the author…… [Read More]
..it is sadomasochism made acceptable to a mass readership by the elimination of any ostensible sexual element. Imbedded in the tale is the psychological journey of an egocentric who derives pleasure from cruelty."(Pritchard, 148) hile this explanation stands, it must be observed that Poe's intention went beyond the psychological investigation: his description of evil doing is almost always accompanied by a certain symbolism that alludes to the intrusion of the supernatural in human life. As Madden notes, Poe's primary goal is to make the readers uneasy by facing them fully with the un-explainable, with that which surpasses human understanding: "Poe makes his readers uneasy by confronting them with the limits of rational thought. He does not present the uncanny, but elicits it in the mind of the reader by presenting some things that are un-explainable and asking the reader to interpret them. It is not written as a psychoanalytic exercise,…… [Read More]
Poe refers to an ebony clock throughout the writing, Butler, uses a tree in the back yard, as well as the corner of the footboard that he is able to see from the cage.
Poe uses terminology that is more complicated in his writing and gives the reader a more formal feel to his overall writing. Butler on the other hand uses basic terminology, as has a relaxed atmosphere about his writing one may even find that they are laughing aloud. Poe's writing is more serious and could even be said to be more vivid in its descriptiveness.
Both, are amazing in their own right, they both discuss different situations, however there is one thing the two have in common that may not be apparent at first sight. That is the undertones of death. Butler discusses reincarnation, and Poe discusses the act of death and how it appears in the…… [Read More]
Gothic and Edgar Allan Poe's Tamerlane And Other Poems
The writing of Edgar Allan Poe will always be connected to the gothic style of literature because Poe used death, mourning and sadness as major themes, and his first published work actually shows some of the style that would make him famous later in life. Published in 1827 when Poe was just a young man of 18-years old, the book Tamerlane and Other Poems contained several poems written when Poe was just a teenager. Because the poetry was the work of such a young man, Poe made sure to tell readers in the Preface that "they were of course not intended for publication; why they are now published concerns no one but himself. Of the smaller pieces very little need be said: they perhaps savour too much of egotism; but they were written by one too young to have any knowledge…… [Read More]
Edga Allen Poe tale of pemeditated mude such as "The Cask of Amontillado," eades will immediately delight in the autho's skill at suspense. Like wandeing though dakened and ancient catacombs, eading "The Cask of Amontillado" stis the imagination and maintains tension thoughout its eeie passages. Deepe analysis lends insight into Poe's employment of vaious liteay techniques to impat this sense of the tale being a campfie ghost stoy. Poe's cleve use of iony, both damatic and vebal, contibutes to the shot stoy's suspenseful mood. The opening line of "The Cask of Amontillado" whispe Monteso's plan of evenge: "The thousand injuies of Fotunato I had bone as I best could, but when he ventued upon insult, I vowed evenge," (Poe,). Befoe any action occus, the eade is made awae of the intentions of the naato. This damatic display of iony allows the eade to fully engage and paticipate in the tale.…… [Read More]
The worth of earlier works of American literature is sometimes proven by their application to later works. Such is the case with Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography and his discussion of the Thirteen Virtues. The absence of such virtues can often be the source of complications and conflicts that drive a narrative. This is evident in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart," in which both major characters reveal an absence of one or more of the Thirteen Virtues, thereby creating the problems that drive the story. In fact, three absent virtues drive the tale include silence, tranquility, and justice.
The virtue of silence refers to speaking only when necessary, and only "what may benefit others or yourself." Because the narrator lacks the virtue of silence, he divulges his crime to the police. Had he not broken his silence, the narrator would likely have gotten away with the crime. "Villains!" I shrieked,…… [Read More]
The irony here is that the crime he failed to commit -- the killing of this cat -- led to the narrator's doom. The irony is heightened in "The Cask of Amontillado" because the entire time the narrator, who is looking back on the incident fifty years later, evinces no lack of confidence or surety until the very end, where his feelings of guilt become suddenly and drastically clear. Even though the ultimate end of the story is pretty much foretold at the beginning as far as plot is concerned, the internal effects on the narrator create an ending that is ironically more unnerving than his external actions (Henninger 35).
Both of these stories also clearly illustrate the way guilt and punishment necessarily follow crime. The narrators of both stories end up feeling guilty for their actions, and both are surprised by their fates. In "The Black Cat," the narrator…… [Read More]
Poe, Fall of the House of Usher
Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" is perhaps the best-known American entry into the genre of Romantic and Gothic tale, yet it is worth asking what elements actually identify it as such. Spitzer describes the level of Gothic excess here:
Roderick and Madeline, twins chained to each other by incestuous love, suffering separately but dying together, represent the male and the female principle in that decaying family whose members, by the law of sterility and destruction which rules them, must exterminate each other; Roderick has buried his sister alive, but the revived Madeline will bury Roderick under her falling body. The "fall" of the House of Usher involves not only the physical fall of the mansion, but the physical and moral fall of the two protagonists. (Spitzer 352).
To a certain degree, this marks Poe's story out for particular…… [Read More]
The narrator cleverly with holds information from the reader. He knows he will die at the hands of a hangman and his is final punishment.
The Cask of Amontillado
The narrator of the Cask of Amontillado is also presented in the first person voice. How this narrative differs from the Black Cat is this narrator has more interaction and dialogue with his obsession. Much of the story takes place in the interaction and not in description. There is less poetry in the prose but still a tone of suspense. The set-up is realistic and not fanciful as before. It is not clear exactly what sex or age the narrator is but one can assume from the dialogue the narrator is male and upper class European. He refers to his friend as part of a brotherhood, which in those days was a common male practice. Still the narrator is quite mad…… [Read More]
Poe and Faulkner
Despite the gap in a century or more between the periods when both Edgar Allan Poe and illiam Faulker were writing, both Poe and Faulkner have been loosely considered representatives of the "Southern Gothic" style of fiction in America. Indeed, pioneering Faulkner critic Cleanth Brooks of Yale University has noted that the connections with Poe's style would limit the way in which Faulkner has been received critically: Brooks is at pains to demonstrate that Faulkner's stories represent "more than an attempt to outdo Edgar Allan Poe, more than the prime example of what has come to be called modern Southern Gothic" (Brooks 15). ith an emphasis on grotesquerie and on the spiritual journey of its characters -- often a dark spiritual journey into consciousness of damnation, as in the heavily religious Gothic fiction of the late eighteenth century, or else some form of the supernatural -- "Southern…… [Read More]
The death of a beautiful heroine always leaves someone behind, or the device simply would not work. Poe's narrator laments his loneliness as much as he laments Lenore's death. Poe writes, "Leave my loneliness unbroken! -- quit the bust above my door! / Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!" (Poe). Poe may have had very personal reasons for including the death in his poem, too. Kopley and Hayes continue, "The impetus for the poem doubtless arose, at least in part, from Poe's loss of his mother - and of others whom he had loved" (Kopley, and Hayes 194). Thus, while the literary device worked effectively, Poe's own haunting memories of his mother and lost loves may have contributed their own unique blend of sadness, longing, and loneliness to the poem that help give it an even more poignant and melancholy quality.…… [Read More]
According to Dougherty, it is generally accepted that death is the "indefinite object" (Dougherty) of "The Fall of the House of Usher" but if we take a moment to read the poem that rests in the text, we might discover "evidence of a more culturally and historically specific source for Usher's terror" (Dougherty). This source, in Dougherty's opinion, is a "wild and mournful interlude" to the tale that "so powerfully impresses the narrator, Usher dreams nostalgically about an ancient ruler who sits at a glorious throne" (Dougherty). The lord in the poem seeks pleasure and needs reassurance of his superiority. Dougherty notes that many critics maintain that the poem is a "microcosmic account of Usher's one great story" (Dougherty) but Dougherty believes that the poem reflects a microcosm of a "white colonial nightmare about the impending destruction of the southern slavocracy" (Dougherty).
Dougherty believes that the "experience of violent slave…… [Read More]
"Always in debt, Poe both sought and sneered at the popular audience of his day." -- Andre Carrilho
Poe is said to have believed that fiction was art only as much as it avoided didactics and carried the meaning lightly, leaving much to the imagination of the reader (Jannaccone 1974). Telling a story that engages readers deeply and introducing characters that readers truly care about are attributes of interesting fiction. Poe's literary style is invitational, encouraging readers to fully engage in the story. Fans of Poe will enjoy his "virtuosic, showy, lilting, and slightly wilting quality, like a peony just past bloom" (Lepore 2009). If the readers are enthralled in a gothic tale, they may anticipate an ending capable of thrilling and astonishing them; nonetheless, they will remain gripped by the emerging story until the dramatic ending. Poe further compelled his readers by setting realistic details in his fiction…… [Read More]
"The Tell-Tale Heart" is a psychological thriller because the narrator tricks himself.
The least common experience in Ambrose Bierce's story, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek," is the hanging. However, the story is presented in such a way that the reader does not need to relate to the experience so much as he or she needs to allow the author tell the story. The readers remember the story because of how the human mind operates. The story begins with a man standing on a bridge "looking into the swift waters twenty feet below" (Bierce 63). Everything that occurs in this story occurs in the character's mind. Bierce keeps readers engaged by tricking them. Readers are aware of Farquhar's thoughts and feelings and they are so real and vivid, readers believe they are true. hen Farquhar falls, he is aware of the pain in his neck and his "sensations were unaccompanied by…… [Read More]
The most ironic thing we read in "The Black Cat," is the narrator's unstable state of mind. e should know that our first clue to his madness is his intent to assert that he is not. He writes, "Mad I am not" (Poe Black Cat 182), as he begins to pen one of the most insane narrations ever written. It is as if he is trying to convince himself of this lie. His alcoholism only makes matters worse as he wavers between extreme emotions. One moment, he loves the cat and the next moment, he hates the cat. He kills the cat to rid himself of it and, ironically, it haunts him. Of course, we cannot mention the story without mentioning how the narrator kills his wife in an effort to kill the cat. e can say that even this act is ironic because the narrator is so open about…… [Read More]
This is the moment when Victor Frankenstein uncovers the secret that will allow him to create his "monster," and it is one of the most important parts of this novel. Victor has discovered something other scientists have never dreamed of, and the brilliant light symbolizes this knowledge and discovery. Throughout the novel, Shelley continues to use light to show Victor's growing knowledge and understanding, there is always a brilliant light when something important or amazing is about to occur.
Shelley's use of light as a symbol offers some kind of hope to the reader, and it symbolizes what seems to be good in the novel. Poe uses light differently, to highlight strange and bewildering occurrences that are almost always climatic and have to do with the outcome of the story. Poe's light is the light of lightening storms, blood-red moons, and fiery destruction, while Shelley's is the light of creation…… [Read More]
.. They are neither man nor woman- They are neither brute nor human- They are Ghouls..."
Graham's (2003) analysis of "ells" show that Poe intentionally creates different categories of bells in order to illustrate the various emotional states individuals have had experienced in their life. She argues that the poem "not only...powerfully convey emotional effects to...readers, but also makes readers subconsciously convey those effects with facial expressions...," a characteristic found more strongly in Poe's depiction of the Iron and razen bells.
Indeed, through "ells," readers undergo what Poe identifies as 'excitements' that are "psychal necessity" or "transient." Emphasis on these point proves that shifts in emotions ultimately results to restlessness, instability of one's psyche, and ultimately, escape from this instability, which may be achieved by either succumbing to insanity or death. This is the natural state of the human mind that Poe provokes in his poem, a situation similar to…… [Read More]
In this story, we find this terror, especially at the end of the story when Fortunato sobers up. Montresor tells us that the cry he hears as he places the final bricks in the wall is "not the cry of a drunk man" (Poe 94). The drunk man and the crazy man are pitted against once another in this tale and there is nothing Fortunato can do when he realizes what has happened. The real terror emerges as Montresor follows through on his plan to the last detail without any hesitation.
Edgar Allan Poe allows us to realize how close to life terror actually becomes. His life was no ideal life but rather a playground for terror and death of all sorts. A young boy abandoned by both parents becomes an adult to witness death take his loved ones at much too early an age. By taking his life experiences…… [Read More]
You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was" (92). This statement is significant because it reveals Montresor's sense of revenge as well as another motive for his actions - his health. It would seem that Montresor blames Fortunato for his ill health - whatever that may be. Montresor has no angst regarding what he will do. This is evident when Fortunato assures Montresor that a cough will not kill him and Montresor answers, "True -- true" (93). Here we see the depth of Montresor's madness because he is willing to go to any lengths to commit murder. Even as Fortunato realizes what has happened to him and is begging for mercy, Montresor has already accomplished his task and we can almost see him dusting his hands. To validate his madness, Montresor exclaims, "In pace requiescat!" (95). Even after Fortunato is buried behind the wall, shrieking,…… [Read More]
Paradoxically, based on the outcome of the story, it can be argued that the snake in the crest is not poisonous or else Fortunato's "bite" would have had more severe consequences on Montressor; however, the story ends with Montressor getting away in Fortunato's murder.
Symbolic foreshadowing can also be seen in the conversation about masons between Montressor and Fortunato. As Fortunato questions Montressor about being a mason, Montressor assures his victim that he is and pulls out a trowel "from beneath the folds of [his] roquelaire" (277). Ironically, Fortunato is asking if Montressor is a Freemason and not a mason by trade. Furthermore, Montressor's assertion that he is a mason also hints at how he will carry out his revenge.
Lastly, symbolism and irony are evident in the characters' names. Montressor's name can be loosely translated into my treasure, which can refer to the type of slight that was committed…… [Read More]
Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allen Poe may be counted among the leading American writers to have defined contemporary literature. These personalities significantly elevated short story standards, banking of every literary element in order for strengthening their styles. However, the two utilized these tools rather differently. On the one hand, Hawthorne delved into and discovered human nature’s realities, while, on the other, Poe examined the hearts of people by critiquing their thinking, values, and actions. Both were able to emerge successful when it came to the exploration of short story details, employing words for developing a vibrant world for their readers. Via the genres of gothic and romance fiction, Poe and Hawthorne have effectively widened the horizons of readers, replacing unexciting, old stories with intriguing ones that deal with an enigmatic human reality as well as the inevitable realities underlying human nature.
The novels and short tales of fiction teem with…… [Read More]
Lastly the point of engendering the idea that alcoholism and in short inappropriate decadence ruled the day is the description of the isolation environement; "There were buffoons, there were improvisatori, 3 there were ballet-dancers, there were musicians, there was Beauty, there was wine. All these and security were within. ithout was the 'Red Death.'"
The Black Cat is a slightly more plebian story, about a man who had a particular affinity for pets and who adopted many and shared this love with his patient and loving wife. The man developed severe alcoholism and his entire demeanor changed, as he went about cruelly attacking verbally and physically all who were close to him, including cutting out the eye of his previously cherished pet a very large and loving black cat and eventually hanging the cat to death by a tree limb. The mans alcoholism did not wane as it might have…… [Read More]
Pluto is the Roman god of the underworld, and Poe is foreshadowing a hellish and horrific experience for the narrator. He also sets up an expectation in the reader and truly tests the thin but palpable sympathetic emotional response that is built in the opening lines of the story. He foreshadows the narrator's actions by stating subtly that the narrator has begun to feel strangely as the story unfolds. The narrator states, "(I) experienced a radical alteration for the worse. I grew, day by day, more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others. I suffered myself to use intemperate language to my wife. At length, I even offered her personal violence. My pets, of course, were made to feel the change in my disposition. I not only neglected, but ill-used them.." The reader, now draw into the story, begins to feel like the narrator is not quite…… [Read More]
In conclusion, Edgar Allen Poe was the master of Gothic horror fiction, and his stories are still popular today because of his abilities. Poe was not above parody and humor, however, and this tale shows that. It is so ghastly that it gently pokes fun at the entire genre of horror fiction, and it is so unbelievable it remains as one of his most memorable tales. "The Fall of the House of Usher" gives the reader much more than a glimpse into a macabre family and their estate. It gives the reader a true taste of Gothic fiction as it appeared at the time, and the elements of the story combine to form the perfect testament to the genre, a parody of everything it stood for and attempted to create.
Boyd, Molly. "The Fall of the House of Usher,' Simms's Castle Dismal, and the Scarlet Letter: Literary Interconnections." Studies…… [Read More]
Uncontrollable Urge: The Effect of the Imp of the Perverse on Manifestations of Horror and Terror
In many of his works, Poe often explores fears through a combination of horror and terror. Through intricate storytelling, Poe explores the effects that horror, terror, and impulsivity have on the narrators in "The Imp of the Perverse," "The Tell-Tale Heart," and "The Black Cat."
"The Imp of the Perverse," like "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Black Cat," attempts to provide a logical explanation as to why the narrator acted as he did. In this case, the narrator begins by attempting to explain the role that phrenology, a science that attempts to establish and define the correlation between a person's character and the morphology of the skull, has and its unprecedented failure to explain why people can be impulsive ("The History of Morphology"). The narrator instead argues that "[t]he intellectual or logical man, rather…… [Read More]
He had sent all the servants for a leave with an excuse that it was carnival time, though his intention was to conceal his action (Rawls 54). He managed to convince Fortunato to put on a cloak so that nobody would recognize him on the way and this was another way of concealing the intended action.
Some of the remarks that Fortunate made on the way hurt Montresor making him to justify and accomplish his mission. At one time Fortunato told Montresor that he does not remember Montresor's court of arms. He tried to illustrate as containing a human foot that crushes a serpent with words such as no one that has impunity that can attack. The illustration and the message was a way of showing that Montresor's family was always on revenge mission. Montresor considered it as an insult and triggered his urge to revenge. On the way, they…… [Read More]
e see the creative mind at work in "The Fall of the House of Usher" as Poe creates a parallel between the house and Roderick. The suspense with this thriller is heightened with the fact that the narrator is inches from the same fate as Roderick. There is undeniable connection between the two that is never fully disclosed. The narrator looks for logical ways to explain what occurs in the home and he also wishes to find out the reason behind Roderick's agitation. Interestingly, Roderick believes the house is the source of all of his tension, yet he rarely leaves the house. The image of the house sinking dramatizes Roderick's sinking state of mind. In essence, both are experiencing a type of split. The house is sitting upon an unstable foundation and Roderick does not attempt to fool anyone by denying he suffers from a mental disorder that shakes his…… [Read More]
.. sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible."
YOUR EDITION of POE) the Narrator of the Fall of the House of Usher has turned the perspective of Tell-Tale Heart on its edge. In this instance, it is a perfectly sane man who is introducing us to the mind-destroying propensities of Roderick Usher's ancestral abode. From this point onward, we can "understand," or "sympathize," with the plight of the Usher family. As in so many other tales by Poe, the author is trying to tell us that insanity begins as sanity. e enter into the minds of the deranged and depraved - or those who observe them - and we come to comprehend the forces that cause that slow descent into the maelstrom of psychic torment. e learn, too, how difficult it is to come back up, once we have plunged…… [Read More]
"The Fall of The House of Usher" is a very interesting story. It talks of a man who received a letter from his friend Roderick Usher asking him to visit. The letter talks of the torture and torment Roderick was going through and is a plea for help. In the letter, Roderick explains his distress over his mental illness and the state that he is suffering from. The man was a good friend to Roderick when they were young boys and so he decides to visit his friend. He decides to visit Roderick despite the fact that they had grown apart over the years, and had not communicated for a while. On arrival, he describes the house as "mansion of gloom" that aroused mixed feelings of joy and sadness (Poe p. 5). The narrator finds his friend in very bad shape. He suffers from severe mental disorder. He also…… [Read More]
Poe "not only created art from the essence of his own personal suffering but also came to define himself through this suffering" (263). This is a sorrowful assessment but we can certainly see how Magstreale comes to this conclusion. Terror was not fiction in Poe's world; it was real and it pushed the pen on the paper. Poe took on what some artists might shy away from and that is death. Many of his characters die tragic and gruesome deaths but they are deaths we remember. An example of the power of death is in "The Masque of the Red Death." This tale is unique in that no one manages to escape the grip of death. This is oddly much like the individuals in Poe's life. Nothing could save them from their fate. Humanity's helplessness is demonstrated with Prospero's "strong and lofty wall" (Poe the Masque of the Red Death…… [Read More]
In Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado," the setting is of a very different nature, but also concerns life, death, and the irony that often accompanies the interaction between the two. The main character and first-person narrator, Montresor, leads Fortunato to his grave for an unnamed trespass. Under the pretence of wanting his expertise regarding a cask of amontillado, Montresor leads his friend into the recesses of an extensive vault, which also serves as a grave for a centuries-old family. The story is filled with increasingly grim descriptions of damp darkness and "piled bones" belonging to the generations of Montresor's family. The increasing darkness then correlates with the theme of Fortunato's impending doom. At the final turn, Montresor traps him in a crypt and seals him inside. The darkness can then serve to indicate the darkness of Montresor's action as well as the horror of Fortunato's final doom.
In Hawthorne's story,…… [Read More]