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Tell-Tale Heart: A Descent into Madness
Edgar Allan Poe may be considered one of the founders of American Gothic Literature. His obsession with the macabre and his ability to explore the psychological repercussions of perceived danger inspired him to write various short stories including "The Pit and the Pendulum" and "The Tell-Tale Heart." In "The Tell-Tale Heart," Poe explores the events that lead the unnamed narrator to devise a plan to murder his neighbor and the subsequent events that lead the narrator to admit his guilt. In "The Tell-Tale Heart," Poe is able to convey that insanity is a great disease of the mind where even the person that is suffering from the madness does not realize that he or she is, in fact, insane but rather believe that he or she is mentally stable.
It may be argued that Poe drew inspiration for many of his mentally unstable character…… [Read More]
Even the narrator himself appears to be tensioned concerning his account on what happened in the murder room. hereas his initial narrative is rather slow, he picks up the pace as the storyline progresses, showing that he is discomforted with the overall state of affairs.
Although the narrator describes the chain of events leading to the murder and the crime itself as if he would transmit a confession, the fact that he does not keep a steady rhythm makes it difficult for readers to keep up or even to believe him. The fact that the murder story is told with such lucidity virtually makes readers ignore details and concentrate on the more abstract elements of the narrative: the "vulture eye," the heartbeat, and the fact that the narrator constantly stresses how he is perfectly sane.
From the narrator's perspective, everything related to his over-sensitivity actually demonstrates that he cannot be…… [Read More]
The narrator of Edgar Allen Poe's short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" intentionally mystifies the reader by demanding respect for his narratorial authority while constantly calling his own judgment and sensory perceptions into question. The effect is to create a sense of suspicion surrounding the narrator which is confirmed not when he murders the old man, but when he reveals the madness which causes him to hear the old man's heart beating. In this way, the story uses the narrator as a way of questioning the reader's assumptions regarding sanity and the role of narrator, because the story seems to suggest that readers are quite content with murderous narrator, and that the true "horror" of the story is the textual ambiguity created by the narrator's madness. By examining the instances in which the narrator seems to break from reality, it will be possible to see how the story uses…… [Read More]
Philosophy of Composition in the "Tell-Tale Heart"
The central elements of this philosophy used by Edgar Allan Poe are length, method, and unity of effect (Xroads 2013). In all of his works, he advises writers to follow a set of criteria for producing literature. These are to plan the written product from the beginning to the end of the literature before they embark into writing anything. The end should always be in their overall focus. y keeping the end in mind, they can set the tone and lay out the details. While they do this, they should also determine the effect they want to make on their readers. The conclusion should constantly remain in mind. The literary piece should be short enough to be read with interest in one sitting by readers. It should not be too long that readers must put it aside and return to it…… [Read More]
This short story, as well as Poe's other works, reveals his upbringing and focuses on sick mothers and guilty fathers.
Gothic literature, the form of the short story, became known in ritain in the 18th century. It delves into the dark side of human experience and there finds death, alienation, nightmares, ghosts and haunted places. It was Poe who brought the literary form to America. American Gothic literature present a culture afflicted by poverty and slavery through characters with various deformities, like insanity and melancholy. He introduced a specific Gothic form from his own experiences in Virginia and other slaveholding territories. His works represent the tensions of the black and white struggle issues of his time. He skillfully writes haunting and mysterious narratives, which cloud the boundary between the real and the imagined.
Character Analysis - in the narrator, Poe posits love and hate as proceeding from the same soul.…… [Read More]
It first appears when he shines the lantern's light on the old man's eye. It is the lantern shining on the eye that spurs him to kill, in contrast to the previous nights where the eye had remained closed. The beating heart is the narrator's response to the desire to kill -- a reminder that the old man is a human being.
The narrator misinterprets the beating heart and kills the old man, but the heart does not stop beating. The old man's humanity has not been extinguished with his life. In his subconscious, the narrator realizes this, which is why the heart torments him. Cognizant of the old man's humanity, the narrator thus retains a fragment of his own. The heart's beating ultimately compels his confession. In this way, his conscience speaks to him. The sane part of the narrator feels guilt over the act, and the confession is…… [Read More]
The only exception here is "The Black Cat" narrator who initially is very sympathetic and then becomes increasingly insane as he indulges in alcohol. His wife is extremely sympathetic and likeable, and so, he murders her, as if to punctuate the fact that he is insane. A woman in the stories might have detracted from the central themes of madness, murder, and mayhem, but each characters is lonely (even "The Black Cat" narrator who stays away from home on a regular basis), and so, they are compelled toward evil instead of compelled toward goodness and family.
In conclusion, all of these stories share a first-person narrator who confesses to a heinous crime by the end of the story. They are all mad or insane, and they all commit a horrible crime and then confess it. One even gets away with it. They all have a subconscious need to tell about…… [Read More]
The Reflection of the Soul in Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart"
Edgar Allan Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart" appeared a decade after Gogol's "Diary of a Madman" in Russia and twenty years before Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground, whose protagonist essentially become the archetypal anti-hero of modern literature. Between the American and the Russian is the whole continent of Europe, and it stands to reason that while on both sides of the continent literary characters were "going mad," something on the continent must have been happening to promote this change. This paper will analyze Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart" and show how it reflects (through character, symbol, and irony) the mania of the Romantic/Enlightenment Age in which it was rooted.
Poe's own life is as full of melancholy and darkness as his many tales and poems. Born in Boston, Poe's life kept mainly to the Eastern Coast (he died in Baltimore). His mother died when…… [Read More]
The narrator in this tale internalizes "elements of anxiety and fear pushed to an unrelenting extreme" (269). e can see this extreme in the narrator's thought processes as he continues to watch the old man's eye. For instance, he says:
It was open -- wide, wide open -- and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness -- all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones; but I could see nothing else of the old man's face or person: for I had directed the ray, as if by instinct, precisely upon the damned spot. (Poe 2)
Here we see how the narrator's anxiety has pushed him to an extreme in this scene, a prelude to the old man's murder. The anxiety is produced by the eye and only intensifies as the narrator thinks of…… [Read More]
As the class notes say, "Romanticism or Romantic movement is predominantly pre-occupied with Imagination -- an escape from the world of reality/pain. Poe's story, "he ell-ale Heart," ignores Romantic styles of fiction popular during his day.
Instead, Poe leaves romantic literary notions of escape behind and instead leads us into a Gothic trap from which there will be no escape -- the tortured mind of someone driven by madness to commit a murder. Since the story takes place entirely within the narrator's mind, we experience the mental anguish of the murderer as he becomes more and more overwhelmed by the setting -- his maddened brain. Just as the narrator has no escape from his dark fate, the reader is given no pretense that the story will resolve in anything but in dark and horrible actions.
he narrator of the story senses that he is trapped within his own…… [Read More]
Poe's Tell-Tale Heart
Historical Critique of Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart"
To understand Edgar Allan Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart," it may be beneficial to first understand the historical context within which it appears. Gothic horror was much in vogue with the popular reading public of the mid-19th century. Indeed, Poe's short story was published a decade after another story about a madman was published on the other side of the world in Russia -- "Diary of a Madman," a tale which humorously recorded a Russian man's descent into madness. Such characters were popular on both sides of the world as a result of the immensely popular Romantic movement that had followed the Age of Enlightenment and given birth to such fascinatingly horrific creatures as Frankenstein's monster. hile in Europe and on both sides of the world literary characters were failing to evince themselves as upright and sane citizens, something must have been happening…… [Read More]
Unreliable narration in "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe
"The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe is an example of a horror story which primarily evolves through the use of psychological drama. The central protagonist commits a murder and is compelled to confess by his hallucination that the dead man's heart is still beating beneath the floorboards where he interred him, even though the narrator is really likely only hearing his own heart throbbing away. The story demonstrates how the human mind can create its own prison and how subjective human experience can be: what the protagonist perceives is not actually the truth despite his insistence he is sane: "How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily --how calmly I can tell you the whole story."
The unreliable character of the protagonist is established early on, which immediately makes the reader suspicious of his justification of the…… [Read More]
Introduction and summary
This short story is based on an unidentified narrator who defends his sanity while confessing to a killing of an old man. The motivation for the killing is only the fear he has for the old man’s pale blue eyes. In a detailed narration of his cautions and forethought killing of the old man, the narrator constantly argues he is not mad on account of this measured and cool criminal action, which arguably, are not attributes of the mad. This paper is a literary analysis of the tell-tale heart narration by Poe. The primary theme in the story is guilt and madness, which is clear all through the narration. While the narrator constantly defends his crime and madness, he eventually confesses to the crime.
The unnamed narrator begins the story with a direct address to the reader and acknowledges that he is nervous and argues that he…… [Read More]
His making his way to Memphis illustrates that he is much like his bother in that he feels compelled to do the right thing.
The pieces differ in their approach toward the pain of the war. Stevens view is from a distance; we know what happens in war but maybe if we stand far enough away, we will not be touched by it personally. A soldier dies but even the wind and the clouds move through the sky, untouched. In "Two Soldiers," Faulkner focuses on the pain of separation with Pete's little brother and mother. Their anguish is heavy and real and it is enough to make a little boy to walk 80 miles to Memphis to be with his brother. Stevens sees the pain of war but he also sees how easy it is to overlook. Faulkner shows us how the pain of loss is too real to ignore.…… [Read More]
hat brought him joy now eminds him of the sadness that exists in the world. It is still the same beautiful place but it gives him a "presence that disturbs me with the joy of elated thoughts; a sense sublime/of something far more deeply interfused" (94-6). There are two distinct experiences happening here and through poetry, ordsworth can appreciate both of them without preference.
Both experiences have their benefits. The poet's adult experience allows him to contmplate everything he has known before where as a young boy, his imagination was limited by experience. Now, experience reveals to him to beauty and impossibility of youth. hat he knows know is a presence existing in the "light of the setting suns, / and the round ocean and the living air, / and the blue sky, and in the mind of man" (96-8). As a grown man, the poet can connect the consciouness…… [Read More]
Terror in "The Tell-Tale Heart"
The contrasts of life show us the true nature of things. illiam Shakespeare knew this about humanity and we see it displayed in many of his plays. Opposites allow us to see the true nature of man as we look at Othello. Contrasts balance things in this play, allowing to see the best of mankind alongside the worst of man. Emelia and Desdemona are women living in the same society but their views on love vary. Desdemona and Othello also have contrasting views on love even though they are newlyweds. Othello is a play that uses contrasts to explore the strengths and weaknesses of man.
Emelia and Desdemona are opposites because of their beliefs toward men and love. Both women experience a different experience with intimacy with their husbands. hen Desdemona asks her about faithfulness, she asks, "ho would not make her husband a cuckold…… [Read More]
hile it may seem easy to write for children, it is actually difficult because the writer must be familiar enough with his or her audience to write with confidence. hite accomplished this by keeping things simple. In doing so, Charlotte's eb not only appeals to children but adults as well.
hite also sticks to the principles of composition as well. He follows the principle of using one tense throughout the story and choosing a suitable design and sticking with it. The design in Charlotte's eb is the structure of a children's story and it is crucial that hite remains true to this design. Strunk writes, "in most cases planning must be a deliberate prelude to writing" (Strunk 15). Readers can know that hite saw down beforehand and decided that he was to write a children's book and followed through on it. In addition, hite also employs the principle of using…… [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]
Tales of the City
Mary Ann in the City
Early on in Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City, Connie tells Mary Ann, "Relax hon… Give it time. This city loosens people up." (6) The message being that the setting of San Francisco in the 1970s and 80s was a place of loose social and cultural standards. An analysis of the city, even in retrospect supports the idea that many aspects of San Francisco are in fact associated with free thought and action, especially with regard to sexuality and homosexuality. Mary Ann as a character realizes in many ways the reality of this early statement, of a loosening of character, as her traditional cultural standards are stretched by countless happenings in Maupin's fabled City.
Maupin's Tales of the City, in many ways, was an opening to the broader world the context of the 1960s, 70s and 80s ideal San Francisco, where…… [Read More]
The ible, he argued, cites the creation of Eve for Adam as proof that a wife is man's support, as well as many other examples of humble and devoted wives.
The knight told his brother that he desired a young wife, who was no older than thirty, for she would be more pliable. Placebo cautioned that it takes great courage for an older man to marry a young woman (Classic Notes, 2004). He warned him that a young woman who married an older man may have ulterior motives, which the man would never know until he was married. Despite the fact Placebo has a wonderful wife, he understands what faults she has and advises January to be aware of who he marries.
The brothers argue about the merits of marriage, with Placebo predicting that January would not please his wife for more than three years, but Placebo eventually agrees to…… [Read More]
Nathaniel Hawthorne's Tales
Hawthorne's writings serve as a social commentary on the inherent dangers in blind acceptance of religious teachings.
There is ample scope to interpret all three stories of "Young Goodman Brown," "The Birthmark," and "Ethan Brand," as Hawthorne's commentary on the consequences of allowing religion to mar true recognition of goodness and beauty. All three stories highlight the fact that human kindness and faith are more important than obsession with religious teachings.
Although Hawthorne's writings have often been interpreted as being influenced by the author's Puritan heritage, there is equally a wide acknowledgement that Hawthorne left the interpretation of any moral lesson in his tales to the reader.
Hawthorne's contemporaries have, through their writings, shared several insights into Hawthorne's real-life personality and writings, which indicate that he was a keen observer of human nature and if anything, possessed a deep concern and compassion for the deeper psychology of…… [Read More]
The Enchanted Cloak and the Land of Prosperity
Once upon a time, there was a kingdom so vast and so wide that the kings of the surrounding empire sought for control. Now this land was not only vast, but it was the home of an enchanted queen, who had been blessed and cursed by a witch. Blessed, for her kingdom and her land would forever flourish in the hands of the ruler. Cursed, for her castle would forever be plagued with monstrous beasts as her servants. Cursed, for the queen herself would forever be confined within her tower, for the enchantments that surrounded her home were far and many.
Yet the kings of the surrounding magical land sought to claim the hand of the queen and the land of enchantment. For whosoever retained ownership of such a land -- and whosoever married such a queen -- would also…… [Read More]
Later, I saw you again at my uncle's party. You looked so beautiful sitting there with Lizel and Denise. I wanted to come over and talk to you when you smiled and waved at me. I could not at that time because I was with Elizabeth.
Even though it was a long time before I would see you again, I never stopped thinking about you. I hoped I would see you more when Lizel started renting a room for my uncle. When she asked about renting the other room to you, I said, "no" due to having a girlfriend and I knew I could not handle having you so close to me all the time.
Lizel, however, never listens to me. To my surprise, the next day I see you walking down the steps. y heart almost stopped as I felt like I was going to faint when you sat…… [Read More]
hy Is Angst So Universally Appealing?
The course of true love never did run smooth according to the Bard of Avon. Certainly any relationship involving at least two people must allow for at least a good chance of turbulence. But surely true love might indeed run smoothly within the pages of a novel or the rolls of an epic? ell, yes, if that were what the author wanted and (at least as importantly) what the audience wants and expects. But the idea of love that we as humans in different eras and different places often seem most content to embrace as we follow fictional lovers is one in which there is confusion and angst. Fictional lovers are often those who do not know their own minds about what will make them happy and must be forced by fate and the gods to acknowledge the love simmering within them.
This…… [Read More]
Poe's sound -- makes sound stories covered class: "Cask Amontillado" "The Tell-Tale Heart." Some things: sound relates stories ( plots, characters) effect reader efficiency a tool ( Poe's working) story lack include element.
Edgar Allen Poe's use of sound in "The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Tell-Tale Heart"
Edgar Allen Poe used sound as a principal and yet subtle technique meant to intensify the feelings that his texts put across. The American author concentrated on developing a more intimate connection with his readers by making use of a series of elements that some might consider uncharacteristic when regarding a short story. "The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Tell-Tale Heart" are both designed to use sound with the purpose of intriguing and frightening readers, as sounds intensify each feeling and build up suspense up to the point where readers feel horrified as they try to anticipate what comes next.
From the…… [Read More]
Readers must confront the notion that the narrator is out of his mind and this changes the reading of the entire story.
The most compelling aspect of the story is the aspect of internal fear. Poe presents us with an irrational individual to highlight this kind of terror. Poe is a master at internal dialogue of the deranged and this narrator proves it. The mental drama that unfolds in our narrator's mind is chilling and it is enough to instill fear in us as we consider the possibility of this kind of individual. ith him, Poe is feeding our fears and this is exactly what he intends to do. The mental anguish the narrator experiences as he watches the old man is exaggerated to make us consider what might be happening with him. As he determines it must be the man's extreme terror he is hearing it grows "louder, I…… [Read More]
She also learns, too late, that the jewels and the life she coveted so long ago was a sham. Hence, the symbolic nature of the necklace itself -- although it appears to have great value, it is in fact only real in appearance, not in reality and the heroine is incapable of assessing the false necklace's true worth.
The tale of "The Necklace" conveys the moral that what is real, the replacement she returned to Madame Forstier, can be won not with beauty but with hard work, sweat, and toil. Like "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Necklace" revolves around the use of irony and a single, symbolic element, exemplified in the title object that works throughout the tale, using the literary device of irony, to reveal the protagonist's moral character. That final revelation engineered by the title object makes the story compelling, even if both protagonists may seem morally repugnant. The…… [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]
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]
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]
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]
In Irving's case, he expanded on his background of writing historical works, with his satirical approach individual and distinctive. This developed the genre partly by introducing satire as an effective element. At the same time, it also showed that literature could be expanded to suit any style.
Edgar Allan Poe is the third writer who contributed significantly to the development of American Romanticism. Poe added an element of horror and wrote short stories that were both disturbing and haunting. One of the interesting things about Poe is that the effectiveness of his stories did not rely only on the storyline. For example, the short story "The Fall of the House of Usher" is the narrator's account of his visit to a haunted house and his encounters with the strange brother and sister that live there. In this case, it is not the actual storyline that makes the story effective. Instead,…… [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]
Inductive reasoning leads Legrand to discover an encrypted message that he sets out to painstakingly decipher. Poe's detailed analysis of the cryptogram is quintessentially romantic, encouraging rational inquiry into seemingly supernatural phenomenon. A respect for both the natural and supernatural worlds is implied by the story. Interestingly, nothing supernatural does take place in "The Gold-ug." Legrand admits to the striking coincidences that led him to the treasure, but coincidences themselves are not supernatural events. Legrand states, "it was not done by human agency. And nevertheless it was done."
The titular bug is a scarabaeus, which is a direct allusion to ancient Egypt. Like pirates, the imagery and lore of ancient Egypt has romantic, compelling connotations for readers. The reference to the scarab is coupled with the eerie image of the skull. When Jupiter finally climbs out on the "dead" limb the situation takes on an ominous tone before resolving itself…… [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]
..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]
.. 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]
"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]
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]
Returning to Nature
They looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.
The great Romantic bard illiam ordsworth loved nature. To him, nature was a place to return to, not just in a physical sense, as in a sojourn or expedition, but in an emotional and spiritual sense. Returning to nature meant to revitalize an essential part of one's humanity through the cathartic and transformative powers of nature. To help unpack this concept, this essay will analyze two of ordsworth's poems: "Nutting" and "The orld is Too Much ith Us."
"Nutting" is a Conversation poem, in the Coleridge tradition, between the Narrator and his Maiden (Rumens). Over the course of the poem, he's tells his Maiden about a day he spent gathering nuts in the forest and how, after gathering the nuts, he felt a sense of guilt for needlessly…… [Read More]
Reading Profile of a Student
The student I selected is a 10-year-old 4th grade student who is a self-described “lover of books.” She views herself as a great reader and she is always carrying a book with her. I ask her if she thinks everyone should read more, and she says most emphatically, “Yes!” She maintains a very positive attitude toward reading—“Even when you don’t care for what you’re reading?” I ask. She says that she always finds something to like, no matter what she is reading. She says if someone took the time to write it, she can take the time to find something nice about it. “Sometimes I have to stop and think about what I read or I’ll think about a story for days wondering what I just read.” I ask what stories do that for her and she answers, “Poe! That guy is crazy!” I am…… [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]
" It just so happens that the Carnival is in season, what better time to launch such a plot? This dramatic irony allows the audience to perceive something that Fortunato does not -- the relentless pursuit and planning that is occurring as Fortunato enjoys himself celebrating Carnival. Even the name Fortunato (the fortunate) is ironic, since he is anything but fortunate as the intended victim of murder. This theme of irony will present itself again and again, and is Poe's technique for allowing the reader to both follow the story from the murderer's point-of-view, since it is he who is narrating, and to distance oneself and feel the true horror of the approach of death. The web/trap is set when Montresor dangles a rare wine, Amontillado, in front of Fortunato, but is cynical enough about it that he toys with Fortunato's greed and avarice.
It is perhaps the merging of…… [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]
Latin American Magic ealism
Literature has endured a plethora of movements that have been used to both expand the literary base and try to explain a specific culture or set of cultures. For novels, it has been said that there are a very few plots which are continuously circulated in the work of authors who are bound by those elements but can expand the use of the plot beyond what has been known previously. A plot based on a love story is not owned by Shakespeare and death is not the sole domain of Hemmingway. No known author started these plots, and it different schools of writing are also difficult to pin down. However, the same cannot be said for the different literary movements which have reinvented the means of delivering simple plots. Much like the authors who adhere to them, literary movements seem to be typical of…… [Read More]
For example, in the beginning of the play, he's loyal to King Leontes, but not loyal enough to poison Polixenes, and flees with him to Bohemia. Camillo is the one who helps Prince Florizell and Perdita, when Polixenes storms off at the end of the play. Camillo is thus the character who is comfortable jumping from side to side and dealing with the extremities of the situations which present themselves and working to resolve them, or to at least resolve his place in them.
Given all the extreme events of the play -- the persecution and "death" of Hermione, the exile of Perdita, the death of Mamillius, the ending truly demonstrates that all is well that ends well -- with the royal families playing catch-up with one another. Hermione is alive and well, Perdita and Florizell are able to declare their love for one another and jealous and suspicious Leontes…… [Read More]
Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales. Trans. Neville Coghill. New York: Penguin Books, 1977.… [Read More]
Evangeline: A Tale of Arcadia material
"Evangeline" Part I
Describe the village of Grand-Pre. What overall impression is given?
The village of Grand-Pre is a kind of Eden, an idyllic place. The village is happy, and filled with simple, rustic people. The people are hard-working but they enjoy their labor and receiving gifts of nature. For example, the "hands of the farmers had raised with labor incessant," dikes that "shut out the turbulent tides;" yet they sometimes let the sea into the fields to water their crops, allowing nature's bounty to enrich their harvest. The streets are filled with simple but beautiful maids and matrons dressed in plain clothes, and everyone is "at peace with God and the world."
What story did the notary public tell to prove the point that justice triumphs in the end?
The notary tells a tale of a nobleman's palace where a necklace of pearls…… [Read More]
Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie
People told her to forget Gabriel and take another. They said "Here is Baptiste Leblanc, the notary's son, who has loved thee/Many a tedious year; come, give him thy hand and be happy!"
But she said that she could do nothing but follow her heart. "hither my heart has gone, there follows my hand, and not elsewhere/For when the heart goes before, like a lamp, and illumines the pathway,/Many things are made clear, that else lie hidden in darkness"
Her reaction was best for her. It may not have been the same for someone else. The people were trying to be helpful seeing that she was in such distress, but it impossible to tell someone to quit her love for Gabriel once it had been kindled.
She learned that they had actually passed by where Gabriel was. It is ironic because she had said to…… [Read More]
Racial Passing in the Oxheding Tale
This pape discusses efeences to the topic of acial passing in the novel Oxheding Tale by Chales Johnson. The discussion ties to answe the questions of why, how, and with what effects Chales Johnson mentions this theme in the novel.
The main chaacte in the novel is Andew. He had his mothe's hai. She was the wife of a plantation owne in South Caolina. His fathe was a slave who seved as his maste's butle. The conception of Andew was an "accident." On a night in which the maste and the butle, Geoge, had gotten dunk, the maste asked Geoge to switch beds with him, supposedly to avoid thei wives' ecimination fo thei dinking. Anna, the maste's wife, mistakenly thought that Geoge was he husband in the dakness of the bedoom and pusued intecouse. Geoge was a man who liked to finish his…… [Read More]
RIVER BETWEEN by Ngugi tells the tale of two rival communities, Kameno and Makuyu, which face each other and are separated only by the Honia River. These two villages are in a constant battle over conflicting myths of leadership, which have been the bais of their arguments for many generations.
There is a strong religious undertone in the book, as the author talks about practices like circumcision and clitoridectomy (p. 12).
These ancient hills and ridges were the heart and soul of the land," writes Ngugi. "They kept the tribes' magic and rituals, pure and intact. Their people rejoiced together, giving one another the blood and warmth of their laughter... To the stranger, they kept dumb, breathing none of the secrets of which they were the guardians" (p. 3).
This cultural seclusion with its religious stability would not last forever, though, and Mugo wa Kibiro, "that great Gikuyu seer of…… [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]
Ann Beattie is a short story told in a series of flashbacks. It is narrated by a woman remembering a winter she spent in a house with a former lover. The story is evocative and nostalgic, but also is filled with a sense of sorrow, regret, and foreboding. Even the actions the woman and her lover perform together, like painting a room, underline the transience of their united state. Beattie's narrator is afraid that the grapes of the wallpaper will come popping through the paint, undoing their paint job. A wild chipmunk runs lose through the house, and like the lovers, the chipmunk is a symbolic transgressor in the house, an outsider.
At the end of the story, when the narrator returns, she feels sorrow when she sees flowers popping up in the ground. Seasons change and people grow apart. The flowers should be seen as signs of new life,…… [Read More]
What does this small story tell us about Jesus? Try to discover the central message of this story, and then write it out. ead the stories before and after the text you chose, and write out their main messages.
In Mark 9:19-13, Jesus is being compared and contrasted with Elijah. Elijah is a harbinger of the messiah; not the messiah Himself. Thus, Elijah corresponds symbolically with John the Baptist. The story is one that establishes the true identity of Jesus Christ as Son of Man: a phrase that is used throughout the Bible. Here, the phrase clearly refers to Jesus during the transfiguration.
When the apostles ask, "Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?" Jesus replies, "To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things…Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written…… [Read More]
Frequent interception of American ships to impress American citizens was a major cause of the ar of 1812. ("Impressments." The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. 10 Aug. 2005, (http://www.factmonster.com/ce6/history/A0825052.html)
The enforced and arbitrary nature of the fate of impressment, and Budd's fate of facing the code of military law, which was different from the life he was accustomed to, did not understand, and had not agreed to, was thus the result of Billy being forced to obey a social contract in an environment that necessitated individuals obey without question to fight an armed enemy. This differing social contract is not necessarily 'worse' than life upon a non-military ship. The problem is not necessarily the innocent civilian Billy is good and that the military men are bad, but that two orders of individualism and the collective good are clashing on a ship -- it is through impressment that this has occurred, not because…… [Read More]
Often, bones have different shapes and/or sizes depending on whether they belonged to a male or female individual, and age also plays an important factor in the way bones look (Maples, 142). hereas doctors usually specialize in a certain branch of medicine, as in pediatrics or gerontology, forensic anthropologists must retain a broad range of knowledge because they might be called in to identify bones or other remains from any individual of any age or pathology. If they only knew a small portion of the type of details that could aid them in such identification, that particular forensic anthropologist's usefulness would be severely limited. Throughout his book, Dr. Maples demonstrates quite clearly how vital it is that observation, research, and learning continue throughout one's career as a forensic anthropologist, especially in the area of biology. As medical and biological knowledge grows, the forensic anthropologist must stay up-to-date or run the…… [Read More]
classic films, and what makes them classic. Specifically, it will contain a discussion of what makes a film "classic" and use a specific film that I believe is classic, with good quality reasons for the answer.
The term "classic film" often evokes thoughts of an old film, often shown and enjoyed by audiences throughout many decades. The film could be a musical, such as "The Wizard of Oz," or a drama, such as "Apocalypse Now." Both films (and scores of others) have been called classics, and are often shown on network and cable channels. What makes these films classic?
Some might say it is the acting that makes a film a classic. In "The Wizard of Oz," for example, each actor, from Judy Garland as Dorothy, to argaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch is perfectly cast, and creates their role with great talent and charm. They set the…… [Read More]
stood there, waiting for him to come down on the elevator at 5:03 PM as he did every day without fail. She caressed the outside of her large purse one more time, partly to make sure there was no tell-tale bulge, but mostly to remind her of the strength she had hidden in there. Communication is the key to any relationship, she thought. She had the letter she had written, and if she needed it, she had something else for him as well.
She saw Mr. Blake step from the elevator. She had decided to let him see her today, but only sometimes. She made her eyes burn into his soul. He had tried to take her self-respect, just like they tried to do in the hospital. Well, she couldn't do anything about the people at the hospital just yet, but she was going to deal with Mr. Blake.
She…… [Read More]
Susan Bordo and the Pursuit of Happyness
Susan Bordo is a contemporary feminist philosopher who focuses on cultural study that links modern consumer culture to the idea of genderized bodies. Her particular research focus is describing the manner in which popular culture (especially film) impacts the complex nature of how women and men view themselves, their bodies, and/or their place in the world. Further, from an academic standpoint, she sees the power of cultural phenomena as a way that forms a societal hierarchy and template for ways of behavior, interpretation, indeed of being that become preferable to reality for many people (Bordo).
Chapter 3 of her book Twilight Zones, is an essay entitled "Braveheart, Baby and the Contemporary Body." In this essay, Bordo argues that in contemporary American culture, all that is required is to "stop whining, lace up your sneakers, and forge ahead, blasting your way through social limitations….…… [Read More]
rounded the corner of the block, my heart skipped a beat, and I felt fear slither into my veins. There was a man lying on the sidewalk to the right of the glass and metal door leading to the parking garage. I paused, looking at him closely to determine whether it was safe to pass him or not. I would have to walk over him to get through the door.
The street was otherwise empty. No cars passed, and I could dimly see the end of the sidewalk through the falling snow. The cold cement walk was already covered with a fine layer of thin white flakes. I decided to swallow my fear, and continue on. My mother's voice suddenly spoke inside my head: "Whenever you feel as though someone is dangerous, walk with determination.." Holding my head high, I pulled my coat closer to me, and forged ahead.
The…… [Read More]