Edgar Allan Poe
The Biography of Edgar Allan Poe and His Contribution to the Horror Genre
For most readers, the name of Edgar Allan Poe has become a byword for horror and fear. Moreover, the images and motifs created by the novelist had an immense influence on the following generations and works of other authors, so that they even became immersed in the popular culture. Poe’s memorable images and quotes became an integral part of the world’s cultural heritage, giving inspiration to the horror movie scriptwriters and novelists. As a result, many fans of the horror genre don’t even rate Poe’s contribution to its true value, taking his efforts for granted. For nearly two centuries so far, Poe has been providing realistic images of morbidity, fear and the horror of life to everyone who is interested in the genre or makes parallels between fiction and certain moments in life.
The biography of Edgar Allan Poe is full of mystery which can be explained by his own passion for exaggeration and fantasies, which confused biographers who were trying to learn about his life from his works or his own words. However, most biographers agree that Poe hardly knew his parents and when biographers claim that he was a spoiled child, they mean the family who adopted Edgar. Edgar was born in a family of young actors. His father was an alcohol addict, whose addiction went so far that he even was drunk on the stage. Once he left his wife and kids and nobody saw him ever again. Edgar’s mother fell ill and died when Poe was only a child. That’s how Edgar was adopted by the Allens, the family of successful businessmen (Meltzer, 2003, p. 24). School teachers said that Edgar was a very talented boy with numerous talents, including even the knowledge of French and the skills of translating simple Latin authors (in primary school), but his parents gave him too much pocket money which made him mischievous and ill-behaved. Despite all the support Edgar received in childhood, he was left on his own when he was in college, as Mr. Allen refused to help him. There are many guesses as to what made him leave his adopted son without any financial support, but it’s an important biographical fact that after receiving a substantial education at school.
Edgar had no opportunities to go to college, and it was only his own choice that he decided to receive a higher education; and the knowledge he got was a valuable contribution to his talents which helped him create all the wonderful works of literature which became well-known all over the world. Poe’s realistic use of science fiction allowed him to deceive his readers and keep the public under pressure with his vivid images and horrifying scenes. The innovative approach to fiction writing made Poe stand out from the crowd of his contemporaries so that the stories created by Poe are similar to those created by modern writers.
Another aspect which makes Poe’s works unusually modern is his ability to describe narcotic visions and mental diseases. Thus, Poe believed that opium can intensify imagination and improve the perception of reality. Even though it was nothing new, and this tradition was preceded by more than a century of drug-inspired visionary tales, such as Aldous Huxley’s works, for instance, Poe went even further than his predecessors in describing the inner world of his characters and making most readers sympathized with them or at least understand their worries and motives. In his story ‘The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether’, Poe emphasizes the thin line between the lunatics and sane individuals (Quinn, 2008, p. 46). In this story, the director of a madhouse goes insane and tries to inspire his former patients to rebel against nurses and the personnel of the institution. This storyline not only illustrates Poe’s views as to how easily the borderline of sanity can be crossed but also his claim that the individuals whom the society thinks to be insane actually are the chosen ones who see more than the rest. There were times when Poe’s approach to fiction even was taken too seriously by his contemporaries, like with his poem Eureka, for example. Poe insisted that this work should be treated as nothing more than a poem( Meyers, 2000, p. 93). However, his contemporaries rated the ideas expressed in Eureka rather high and concluded that it should be recognized as a scientific treatise. On one hand, Poe’s description of the universe destiny and creation was obviously lacking some more or less reliable scientific ground.
On the other hand, at the times when Poe lived, even scholars did not know much of the world’s creation and thus, the ideas expressed by Poe and based on the classic theories of his times were scientifically significant. Although Poe put emphasis on intuition, instead of deduction or induction, he made some important suggestions, trying to solve the riddle of the universe creation. This little-known side of Poe’s creative work shows the author’s approach to his writing, in which he usually tried to synthesize imaginative fiction and scientific findings, tried and tested by the time and experiments.
All the innovative approaches used by Edgar Allan Poe in his works have become an important contribution to the world’s literature and have been integrated with the modern concept of horror and sci-fi genres. Putting the scientifically proven facts into the basis of the plot and using his intuition, Poe created outstanding poems and short stories which further influenced other authors and entire trends in literature and cinematography of the following centuries.
Review of “The Tell-tale Heart” Short Story by Edgar Allan Poe
The Tell-Tale Heart is a story that is about a man that kill a person because of his fear of eye color, he always see him in the night, when he were going to kill him he wake up and start cry but the narrator he stop and he wait for the perfect moment to kill him, when he kill him he butchered him but when the police came to the house, he blamed himself. At beginning of the story, he said that he is not crazy. The grandfather and his little grandson is about a grandfather Once upon a time there was a very old man who lived with his son and daughter-in-law. The man was so old that his hearing and sight had diminished. His hands trembled when he tried to eat. The old man would sit in the corner with tears in his eyes trying to eat his food, with trembling hands. One day he dropped his bowl and it broke on the floor. The wife scolded him and they gave him a wooden dish to eat out of instead. One night, they were sitting together and the four-year-old grandson began to gather together some bits of wood. His parents asked him what he was doing. The little boy told his parents that he was making a trough for them to eat out when his parents be old. The man and his wife were crying.
The Tell-Tale Heart and the grandfather and his little grandson one of the similarities are that they are treated badly, Both have mental problems. In the story of the Tell-Tale Heart, the protagonist has a paranoia and a mental deterioration, the murderer’s obsession with specific and unadorned entities: the old man’s eye and the heartbeat. In the story The grandfather and his little grandson he have a mental problems, his hands trembled when he tried to eat and that is a mental problem. The Tell-Tale Heart and The grandfather and his little grandson differences are that the protagonist is treated very badly and in the Tell Tale Heart they treated him normally. Another difference is that in The Tell Tale Heart the protagonist murder someone and in the grandfather and his little grandson he doesn’t kill anyone. The protagonist of The Tell Tale Heart have a fear with eye color but in The grandfather and his little grandson, he doesn’t has any fear. Another is the place where it develops the story is different. In conclusion, we can say that The Tell-Tale Heart and The grandfather and his little grandson have differences and similarities like one similarities that both have mental disability and one difference is that in The Tell Tale Heart he murder someone and in The grandfather and his little grandson he don’t kill anyone.
Murder and Mental Breakdown in “The Tell-Tale Heart” and The Picture of Dorian Gray
Dr. James Knoll, a forensic psychiatrist, says, “The paranoia exists on a spectrum of severity. … Many perpetrators are in the middle, gray zone where psychiatrists will disagree about the relative contributions of moral failure versus mental affliction.” Dr. Knoll mentions that, in murderers, the line that defines their motives tends to be rather grey. Both Dorian Gray of the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and the narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” harbor serious psychological, eventually leading them to murder; the motives behind their actions have similar roots: insanity. Dorian Gray and the Tell-Tale Heart narrator both have paranoia and progressively become mentally worse over time, showing the grey area of moral versus mental issues.
The Picture of Dorian Gray paints a very vivid succession of events that shows a young man’s complete transformation from innocence to corruption. Dorian Gray’s journey towards depravity is clearly outlined in the novel: starting with his initial contact with the real world and ending with him having murdered a friend and then killing himself (Wilde 21, 229). Dorian is not born with a damaged soul, in fact, he creates it himself, “If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that–for that–I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that! (Wilde 28)” He is haunted by this realization but is not actually affected by it until he jilts Sibyl Vane and gains a hideous wrinkle on his portrait (Wilde 96). After this, his descent from purity to tainted to utter corruption gains momentum. In fact, at one point he “grew more and more enamored of his own beauty, more and more interested in the corruption of his own soul” (Wilde 191). This culminates with Dorian stabbing himself at the end of the novel (Wilde 229). For his part, the narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” does not start off wholly deranged in the beginning of his story; the old man’s cataracted eye freaked him out (Poe 64). However, the way he went about trying to rid his mind of the “Evil Eye” was entirely mad. His progression towards insanity is much faster than Dorian Gray’s, but, as this is a short story, the progression makes sense. At first, he is simply disturbed by the eye, however, entering the old man’s room at midnight to shine a light on the offending eye for a whole week is simply strange (Poe 65). Finally, he spends the whole night entering the old man’s room, he wakes the old man and suffocates, kills, and dismembers him; he does not neglect the appendages, as they are stuffed neatly under the floorboards (Poe 66). When he is “confronted” by the police, he believes in his deranged mind that they are mocking him and therefore confesses to the murder, attempting to salvage his demented pride he holds from his perfect plan (Poe 67). This shows just how far gone the narrator is in terms of his mental health, although he claims in the first sentence that he is perfectly fine (Poe 64). Both Dorian Gray and the narrator have a wild but defined progression from mental clarity to mental sickness.
As Dorian Gray commits more and more awful deeds for the sick amusement of visually tainting his soul, he becomes more and more paranoid that someone will find his portrait, in all its old, wrinkly, ugly glory. It starts with Basil’s first visit to Dorian after Sibyl Vane’s suicide, when he asks Dorian why he has covered the portrait and why he will not let him, the artist, see it (Wilde 115). Dorian is terrified that Basil will find the wrinkle on his otherwise perfect face and something unsavory will happen. As he perpetrates more questionable acts, he becomes both more enamored with his tainted soul as well as protective of it, going as far as to lock it in his old schoolroom and even leaves abruptly in the middle of parties to dash home and make sure nobody has found his disgusting secret (Wilde 125; 144-145). He accumulates an innumerable amount of riches and luxurious things to pass his time, yet he is still afraid that, “What if it should be stolen? The mere thought made him cold with horror. Surely the world would know his secret then. Perhaps the world already suspected it” (Wilde 145). This is a very narcissistic view on his problem, considering the unlikeliness of the event. When Basil comes to talk to him about Dorian’s public image and the validity of rumors, Dorian finally relents in showing the artist the portrait and, taking command from the portrait itself, he stabs his friend in the neck (Wilde 153; 160; 162). To add on to this monstrosity, Dorian, instead of turning himself in or doing something of a moral nature, he blackmails an old friend into dissolving Basil’s body in acid (Wilde 172-178). He tells Alan Campbell that, “You are the only one who is able to save me. I am forced to bring you into this matter” (Wilde 172). Alan, in a burst of bluntness, says, “Your life? Good heavens! What a life that is! You have gone from corruption to corruption, and now you have culminated in crime” (Wilde 176). Dorian’s morality at the end of the novel has disintegrated into mere shreds of humanity, showing this is a moral issue.
The narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart” truly believes he is not mad and that his actions are completely normal and justified (Poe 64). His paranoia starts in the form of his plan: he is so terrified of the eye that he is willing to murder the old man just to get rid of it instead of leaving that situation like a normal person. He checks on the eye every night for a week like clockwork, showing more of his true colors (Poe 65). His paranoia increases when he chills in the old man’s room for a solid hour after he wakes him, just to make sure he does not detect his presence until finally the narrator attacks the old man with fury and kills him because he can hear his heartbeat (Poe 66). In order to cover up his crime, he stuffs the old man’s body parts under the floor with a calm disposition, harking to his deranged mental state, which has psychopathic tendencies (Poe 66). When talking to the police officers, the narrator is in obvious distress, but, at first, hides it well. However, after what he has done has been left to stew for awhile in his brain, he becomes more and more anxious, thinking that the police know exactly what he did but are just smiling and nodding to mock him (Poe 67). Finally, as he reaches his mental break, he loudly confesses to the crime he committed, partly due to the fact that he believes the old man’s heart is still beating under the floorboards and the police can hear it too (Poe 67). This shows how paranoia and mental illness affects the main character’s decisions and therefore the outcome of the story.
The Picture of Dorian Gray and “The Tell-Tale Heart” are revealing literary examples of the grey area of morality and mental issues in terms of paranoia and mental degradation. The two main characters, having murdered one person each, definitely have things in common concerning their motives, but the line for motives is fuzzy at best. Dr. James Knoll says that the line between moral and mental is hard to determine when it comes to a murderer’s motives, but there is a level of paranoia in any case.
Edgar Allan Poe – The Giant Of Gothic Literature
One of the giants of Gothic Literature, Edgar Allan Poe set the standard not only for the genres creepy plot and characters, but also for what it means to be Goth Depicted in portraits dressed in black, with haunted, sunken eyes, Poe’s bad boy behavior, excessive drinking, vicious feuding with other writers, and harsh criticism of other literary work would fit as well in a punk fanzine as well as it did in the literary magazines where he made his name and reputation.
Edgar Allen Poe was born in January of 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts. His parents were actors and separated when Poe was young. He was orphaned at the age of two, after both his mother and father died in December 1811. The wealthy John and Francis Allen adopted Poe and raised him in their Virginia home. He was schooled in England and attended the University of Virginia briefly. After a short stint in the military, Poe began his writing career. Initially his poetry was not commercially successful. In August 1835, he began working for the literary magazine the southern Literary Messenger. He got off to a rocky start to due his excessive drinking, but within a few months, he was named editor. He published some of his fiction as well as reviews but was primarily known as a critic.
In 1836, Poe, now 27, married his 13-year-old cousin, Virginia. Starting in 1838 with the narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Poe published a series of stories and poems that established him as a master of American Literature. Later works such as The Rave in 1845, broke new poetic ground. These poems and his theories of composition helped to develop modern perspectives on the aesthetic value of poetry and short stories.
In an 1846 essay, Poe laid out what he considered to be the essentials of a good short story; exemplified in the Tell-Tale Heart. Chiefly, unity of impression where a distinctive tone carried throughout the short story. Further, Poe was a founding story of several fiction genres such as the modern horror story, the psychological horror story and even science fiction. Yet, Poe’s artistic successes were darkened by personal trials and tragedies. Afer losing his wife to tuberculosis in 1847, Poe’s alcoholism and depression worsened. Fittingly, Poe’s death was somewhat mysterious.
On October 3rd, 1849 he was found in the street badly dressed, delirious and unable to move. He died four days later. Poe’s last words were reportedly “Lord, help my poor soul.” Gothic literature emerged in the late 18th century with the publication of the 1764 novel “Castle of Otranto” written by the English novelist Horace Walpole.
Gothic literature accented mystery and the supernatural, focusing its attention on the irrational. Narratives often deliver fragmented information in order to build suspense and mystery. The Tell-Tale Heart is no exception with its eerie setting and possible mad narrator. The American short story grew unpopularity due to the growing availability of magazines. Poe was extremely influential in the short story genre, being a pioneer in laying out the rules to the short story. For example, readers should be able to finish a story in one setting, writers should strive for unity of effect, and nothing should distract from the stories design, and although they should be imaginative, stories must always tell the truth about human nature.
Narration Style in “The Tell-tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe
Both The Tell-Tale Heart and The Fall of the House of Usher are great examples of how Edgar Allan Poe, an American writer born in 1809, uses the first person narration style of writing. When reading both short stories, it is very clear that the male narrator in Edgar Allan Poe’s first novel The Tell-Tale Heart is much more coherent and relatable than the narrator in The Fall of the House of Usher. When reading both of the given texts, it is clear to me that when reading The Fall of the House of Usher that the narrator is more part of the background than focussed on like the narrator in The Tell-Tale Heart.
The Tell-Tale Heart, compared to The Fall of the House of Usher is more gratifying to read, as it is far easier to understand without having to look up almost every second word like you have to do in The Fall of the House of Usher. An example of this in The Fall of the House of Usher is on pg. 3 when it says “ I say insufferable; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasurable, because poetic, sentiment with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible.” In the first couple of pages, The Fall of the House of Usher is disorienting, and abstruse.
In The Tell-Tale Heart, the narrator is present and is somewhat the main focus, while in The Fall of the House of Usher, the narrator is generally absent, while another separate character is the main point of focus, making The Fall of the house of Usher very confusing to read. On page. 9 , the following “His action was alternately vivacious and sullen. His voice varied rapidly from a tremulous indecision (when the animal spirits seemed utterly in abeyance) to that species of energetic concision—that abrupt, weighty, unhurried, and hollow-sounding enunciation—that leaden, self-balanced and perfectly modulated guttural utterance, which may be observed in the lost drunkard, or the irreclaimable eater of opium, during the periods of his most intense excitement.” is talking about another character ( Roderick Usher ), while The Tell-Tale Heart is talking about himself, ultimately making a more relatable narrator.
In conclusion, The Tell-Tale Heart is the preferred choice, in terms of a better understanding and comprehension than that over The Fall of the House of Usher, both written by Edgar Allan Poe.
Detective Fiction by Edgar Allan Poe
Detective fiction is a type of inscription in which a detective is mechanized to resolve misconduct. The audience is dared to explain the wrongdoing by the hints delivered in advance. The detective reveals the response at the conclusion of the novel. When the story starts, crime is familiarized. In particular narratives, the erroneous individual is blamed for the crime to keep the reader locked in. Ultimately, the detective initiates an investigation to detect the guilt-ridden perpetrator. This paper describes the role of Edgar Allen Poe the father of detective fiction. The principal investigator story was created by Edgar Allan Poe and his small tale The Murders in Rue Morgue that he wrote in 1841 (Klein, 1999). In the story, two females are killed, and the police department has a tough time deciphering the circumstances.
Investigator Dupin leads his personal examination and resolves the offense when the law enforcement agency cannot. Poe is persistent in using Dupin in numerous additional short stories. The genre cultivated slightly generally through the 1800s. Victorian novelists, such as Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens, engraved detective fiction. Nevertheless, when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle shaped Sherlock Holmes, the genre produced. Doyle wrote and completed fifty short stories as well as narratives around Sherlock Holmes with his sidekick Dr. Watson. Doyle’s characters are very common today. In the 1900s, numerous innovative detectives were introduced, safeguarding that the genre sustained growth. Some of the additional general investigators were Endeavor Morse and Gervase Fen, a formation of Edmund Crispin. Crispin is attributed to making the investigator genre more modern. William Legrand, the main character in “The Gold Bug,” shows specific characteristics with Poe’s famous unprofessional detective, Dupin. Legrand is of a memorable intimate, but because of financial adversities, he has been to close to poverty.
On the contrary, he comes from the French lineage from New Orleans. He resides lonely on an island near Charleston, South Carolina. Additionally, similar to Dupin, he surrogates between sorrow and enthusiasm, which directs the teller of tales to the uncertainty that he is the dupe of a class of insanity (Delamater, 1997). The basic evidence of the story is that Legrand is metaphorically nibbled by the gold bug once determining a portion of parchment on which he discovers a cipher with guidelines to the suppressed beauty of the adventurer Captain Kidd. As through the extraordinary significant Dupin stories, “The Gold Bug” emphases little on accomplishment than on the clarification of the phases to the resolution of its mystery. To crack the mystery of the cipher, Legrand establishes the critical potentials of the substandard detective: close consideration to the minute point, extensive information about language and mathematics, far reaching knowledge about his opponent which is Captain Kidd, and most important a perceptive intuition as well as a methodical reasoning ability.
Poe’s famous gothic stories of psychological obsession, such as “The Black Cat,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and “Ligeia,” seem at first glance entirely different from his logical stories of detection. In many ways, however, they are very similar: Both types depend on some secret guilt that must be exposed; in both, the central character is an unusual whose mind seems distant from the minds of ordinary men; and both types are elaborate puzzles filled with clues that must be tied together before the reader can understand their overall effect.”The Oblong Box” and “Thou Art the Man,” both written in 1844, are often cited as combining the gothic and the compelling core of Poe’s genius. The narrator of “The Oblong Box,” while on a packet-ship journey from Charleston, South Carolina, to New York City, becomes unusually curious about an oblong pine box that is kept in the stateroom of an old school acquaintance, Cornelius Wyatt (Poe & Richardson, 2009). In the course of the story, the narrator uses deductive processes to conclude that Wyatt, an artist, is smuggling to New York a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s
“The Last Supper” done by a famous Florentine painter.When a storm threatens to sink the ship, Wyatt ties himself to the mysterious box and, to the horror of the survivors, falls into the sea with it. Not until a month after the event does the narrator learn that the box contained Wyatt’s wife embalmed in salt. Although earlier in the story the narrator prided himself on his superior acumen in guessing that the box included painting, at the conclusion he admits that his mistakes were the result of both his carelessness and his impulsiveness. The persistent deductive efforts of the narrator to explain the mystery of the oblong box, combined with the sense of horror that arises from the image of the artist’s plunging to his death with the corpse of his beautiful young wife, qualifies this story, although a minor tale in the Poe canon, as a unique combination of the gothic and the ratiocinative.
“Thou Art the Man,” though frequently categorized as a mockery of small-town life and behaviors, is likewise a stimulating but slight influence to the type. The story is expressed in a sarcastic tenor by a storyteller who suggests to an explanation for the vanishing of Mr. Barnabus Shuttleworthy. He is one of the town’s wealthiest and most celebrated appreciated inhabitants (Amper & Bloom, 2007). When Shuttleworthy’s nephew is suspected of killing the uncle, Charley Goodfellow, a near acquaintance of Shuttleworth, brands each exertion to protect the young man. Each term he expresses to elevate and back the alleged nephew, though, aids only to excavate the town’s people’s doubt of him.
Through the story, Goodfellow is mentioned as “Old Charley.’’ He is praised as a gentleman who is substantial, exposed, forthright, and truthful. At the story’s inference, he obtains an enormous box allegedly covering wine assured him by the killed man previous to his demise. When the box is opened, the partly lousy body of Shuttleworth sit down in the table, points his limb at Goodfellow, and speaks, “Thou art the man!” Goodfellow, not astonishingly, acknowledges to the homicide. The rudimentary satires of Charley’s of not being such a “good fellow” afterward and of his labors to have the nephew sentenced even as he fake to have him absolved are dominant to the story’s conspiracy, the extreme sarcasm emphases on the incomes by which Goodfellow is made to admit. It is Goodfellow’s honesty and uprightness that reasons the storyteller to suspicion from the start and therefore discovery the body, twig a part of monster jawbone depressed its gullet to root it to be seated up inside the case, and use ventriloquism to brand it appear as if the dead body says the arguments of the name. The story presents such characteristic detective-story agreements as the formation of untrue signs by the illicit and the detection of the felonious as the smallest likely suspect.
“The Mystery of Marie Rogêt,” although it also focuses on Dupin’s solving of a crime primarily from newspaper reports, is based on the murder of a young girl, Mary Cecilia Rogers, near New York City. Because the crime had not been solved when Poe wrote the story, he made use of the facts of the case to tell a story of the murder of a young Parisian girl, Marie Rogêt, as a means of demonstrating his superior deductive ability. The story ostensibly begins two years after the events of “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” when the faultless of police, having unsuccessful to solve the Marie Rogêt case himself, doubts about his status and requests Dupin for assistance.
Dupin’s technique is that of the definitive wing chair investigator; he folds all the reproductions of the reporters articles that have interprets of the misconduct and circles about systematically investigative every one. He states the circumstance extra complicated than that of the Rue Morgue since, paradoxically, it appears so modest. One of the elements of the story that makes it less accessible than the other two Dupin tales is the extensive analysis of the newspaper articles in which Dupin engages— a report that makes the story read more like an article critical of newspaper techniques than a narrative story. In fact, what makes Poe able to propose a solution to the crime is not so much his knowledge of evil as his knowledge of the conventions of newspaper writing. Similarly, it was his knowledge of the meetings of novel book that made it possible for him to deduce the correct conclusion of Charles Dickens’s novel Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ’80 (1841) the previous year when he had read only one or two of the first installments.
Another aspect of “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt” that reflects Dupin’s deductive genius and that has been used by subsequent detective writers is his conviction that the usual error of the police is to pay too much attention to the immediate events while ignoring the external evidence. Both experience and right philosophy, says Dupin, show that truth arises more often from the seemingly irrelevant than from the so-called strictly relevant. By this means, Dupin eliminates the various hypotheses for the crime proposed by the newspapers and suggests his hypothesis, which is confirmed by the confession of the murderer (Poe, Tales of mystery and imagination, 2003).
Although “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt” contains some of the primary conventions that find their way into later detective stories, it is the least popular of the Dupin narratives not only because it contains much reasoning and exposition and minimal narrative but also because it is so long and convoluted. Of the many experts of detective fiction who have commented on Poe’s contribution to the genre, only Dorothy L. Sayers has praised “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt,” calling it a story especially for connoisseurs, a serious intellectual exercise rather than a sensational thriller such as “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” The above are some of the work done by Allen Poe. From these stories, one can deduce that Detective Fiction is essential in helping in the training of the criminal investigators. From the stories, one can be able to gauge a lie or something real. On the other hand, the Detective fiction induces critical thinking of an individual. Therefore, it is essential to assist one in making a rational decision.
1. Amper, S., & Bloom, H. (2007). Bloom’s how to write about Edgar Allan Poe. New York: New York: Chelsea House.
2. Delamater, J. (1997). Theory and practice of classic detective fiction: prepared under the auspices of Hofstra University.
3. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Pr.Klein, K. G. (1999). Diversity and detective fiction. Bowling Green, Ohio Bowling Green State Univ. Popular.
4. Poe, E. A. (2003). Tales of mystery and imagination. London: Collector’s Library. Poe, E. A., & Richardson, C. F. (2009). The complete works of Edgar Allan Poe. New York: Cosimo Classics.
The Utilization Of Incongruity In Edgar Allan Poe’s The Cask Of Amontillado
It’s Edgar Allan Poe’s extraordinary utilization of incongruity all through The Cask of Amontillado that builds up the short story as a fascinating applicant deserving of careful examination. The capable utilization of the gadget is used by the creator to make this awful and intense perfect work of art. The utilization of incongruity in the story furnishes it with diversion and mind, and makes the piece more advanced. It’s identified through style, tone and the unmistakable utilization of embellishment of Montresor, the storyteller. From the earliest starting point the peruser can see the nebulous vision of incongruity in the story. The very name Fortunato would plainly infer this is a man of favorable luck, when the real case is that he is going to endure a for the most part awkward end.
The setting in which the story happens again demonstrates an unexpected component. It’s amid Venice’s Carnival that the characters meet. Jamboree should be a period of festivity and joy for everyone. Be that as it may, in the story it is a period for vengeance and passing. The climate changes definitely when the two heroes leave the jollity of fair for the bleak and devastate tombs underneath Montresor’s palazzo. The peruser gains from the storyteller that when he initially meets Fortunato has obviously been drinking and is wearing numerous hues, taking after an entertainer. His ensemble proposes that he will be the one playing the trick. Then again Montresor is wearing a dark hued shroud and has his face secured with a dark cover. The way the storyteller treats his adversary is one of the clearest cases for amusing components.
At the point when the characters meet, Montresor understands that Fortunato is distressed with an extreme chilly, all things considered he tries him looking ‘surprisingly well’. Montresor acts in the most regular and agreeable path towards the man protest of his retribution, and even acclaims his ‘friend’s’ learning in the subject of wines. Likewise upon their gathering, Montresor starts a mental control of Fortunato. He guarantees that he needs his insight to learn that the wine he has bought is in fact Amontillado. He recognizes that Fortunato is occupied with another business (the festival of the fair), so he would go to Luchresi, one’s identity, made to accept, is a contender of Fortunato’s. To these words, Fortunato is constrained by his pride to go with Montresor to the vaults (where the Amontillado is kept), disperse his questions and furthermore to demonstrate his higher status than Luchresi as an expert of wine. Truth be told, amid their way down under in the tombs, the bent personality of Montresor, sets out to allow Fortunato to backpedal, because of the relatively deplorable sogginess and indecency widespread in the vaults and Fortunato’s condition of wellbeing. The storyteller unmistakably thinks about the unyielding idea of Fortunato, and is sure that his pride would not enable him to withdraw. Along these lines, Fortunato proceeds with his excursion towards death by his own particular will. Noteworthy lines in the story are given by Montresor because of Fortunato saying, ‘I won’t kick the bucket of a hack.’ To what Montresor reacts, ‘Genuine – true…’ And then likewise when the deceptive storyteller toasts to Fortunato’s long life, definitely realizing that he was producing to results the evil made arrangement of retribution. Additional confirmation of amusing segments is found with Montresor as a ‘Mason’.
The peruser expects that this implies he is an individual from the recognized gathering of men, yet he really is a stonemason, somebody whose activity is to get ready and utilize stone for building. Montresor makes utilization of his ability as a bricklayer and also the trowel he had demonstrated his adversary to develop the divider that will bolt up disastrous Fortunato inside the specialty. At the point when Fortunato is caught behind the divider his vindicator constructed, Montresor re-echoes and even outperforms Fortunato’s hollering clearly to identify with the casualty. He’s clearly being amusing since he is really charmed by what he has done and just quits screaming till Fortunato is noiseless. The story closes with Montresor’s words ‘In pace requiescat!’ (May he rest in peace). His words are unmistakably wry: he has been the entertainer of the terrifying homicide, at that point how might he appeal to God for him to rest in peace?
The Cask of Amontillado is a deliberately created short story. The inventiveness and imaginative virtuoso of Poe floods through this odd story. Each attribute of incongruity Poe utilizes adds to a solitary and important impact: Conveying his message in an inventive and unique way, not enabling the peruser to stop.
Edgar Allan Poe and the Orangutan Obsession
Edgar Allan Poe’s unusually common usage of orangutans in his short stories is no secret. In The Murders of the Rue Morgue, the orangutan turns out to be the murderer who deprived Madame L’Espanaye and her daughter of their lives. Its actions are depicted as extremely –and perhaps uncomfortably- human like. Its shrieks using a ‘shrill voice [like] that of a man’, however its language is obviously not recognized. When assuming the murder’s occurrence in chronological order, it is suggested that the daughter’s body was ‘firmly wedged in the chimney’, while her mother’s was ‘hurled through the window headlong’, as if the brute realized its actions are less than worthy and desired to hide away the bodies of the deceased women. Therefore, the orang-utan seems to bears uncanny similarities to our species in that it can communicate albeit not effectively, and it can kind of distinguish between right and wrong. Also in Hop Frog, the figure of the orang-utan features as a masquerade disguise for the king and his seven ministers. They are ‘saturated with tar’ and covered with ‘flax’ in order to accurately represent these beasts. The orang-utan emerges as an undesirable and scary creature. However, seeing that the eight important men remain unidentified, disguised as they were, the orangutan figure does not seem to differ that much from that of the human being.
In another of Poe’s short stories, Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether, the reader does not encounter human beings dressed up as orangutans with absolute certainty. Nevertheless, the manner by which the sane asylum workers were treated and how they were all ‘tarred, then- carefully feathered’ by the insane patients, is reminiscent of Hop Frog, where the fool outwitted the wiser men and degrading them to the figure of the orangutan. In fact, the narrator is reminded of ‘Chimpanzees, Ourang-Outangs, or big black baboons of the Cape of Good Hope’. While the keepers are not specifically attired as orangutans, they are still masquerading as a cross between several species of the ape family. The reader may notice a pattern between the human being who is going through a crisis where his intelligence and morality is questioned, and his sudden metamorphosis into an orangutan. This has taken place too often in Poe’s stories to be taken simply as part of the plot without much significance. In what way might the deprived human being be linked with the orangutan? What is the meaning behind this analogy?
In his essay ‘Handling the Perceptual Politics of Identity in Great Expectations’, University professor Peter J. Capuano points out how the Victorians were deeply preoccupied with ‘the material features of the body’ and what message is evoked through the shape of their bodily characteristics. In Great Expectations, Dickens exaggerates this Victorian anxiety by including characters like Pip who compare his status in life with that of Estella by studying his hands. According to Capuano, this sudden interest in the body stems from human beings’ loss of their ‘privileged status’ of superiority over animals, when Charles Darwin’s theory suggests that in fact human beings are derived from the ape family. This revelation brought with it an identity crisis, a deflation to the human ego, and unsurprisingly a curiosity regarding the way how apes ‘looked and behaved’ just like humans. Needless to say, the Victorians dreaded to face a life where human beings are no longer at the top of the biological spectrum, and they would not have anything to do with these creatures and avoided any associations with them. They strove to re-assert their power over all the other animals, and instead used terms related to apes, gorillas, orangutans and so on in order to insult races whom they regarded as lesser.
So how is this discovery linked with Poe and his treatment of human beings as orangutans? In a letter addressed to George W. Eveleth, a Maine medical student, Poe states that it is the heart which makes one human, and without which man would become a ‘brute or a god’. Therefore, Poe seems to be of the belief that if one does not live up to humanity’s moral standards, one is living on par with apes; a declaration which would not be very pleasing to his contemporary audience. Yet, his numerous instances where the human is reduced to an orangutan suggest that Poe is deliberately placing his readers in distress, in order to show them how close to brutes they really are. Why is Poe so intent on making this sentiment felt? What is his main motif behind his accusation of lacking humanity among his generation?
The most likely theory behind this reasoning stems directly from Poe’s life. Through his letters, one becomes acquainted with the hardships he endured after his adoptive father John Allan disowns him and refuses to contact him. From the letters Poe wrote to Allan, one will realize how the latter deprived Poe of the money necessary to further his studies which led him to fall into terrible vices like gambling. Poe was robbed of the love a child should get from his father. He lived in poverty and was always in want of money. He witnessed the death of his beloved wife Virginia. He endured several feuds with several other writers and critics and towards the end of his life had to experience the bitterness of unrequited love. Could it be that he is trying to reassert his dignity by comparing such people with brutes? Perhaps this comparison with orangutans has been inspired from the Victorians’ desire to be as unlike orangutans and apes in general as possible, and therefore Poe took this opportunity to voice his opinion regarding humanity. Despite being poor, unloved and even thought to be insane, Poe worked hard to get his own back by demonstrating through his writing how akin to orangutans human beings actually are. This theory seems to be viable because in both The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Hop Frog as well as in The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether, the orangutan doubles as the human being whose behavior is less than human. In The Murders in the Rue Morgue, the orangutan is a murderer who physically deprives others of their lives just as Poe is deprived of his life through insufficient finances and neglect. In Hop Frog and The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether, the orangutans are the ones who have made fun of those deemed to be lesser and perhaps stupid, just as how Poe was often not taken seriously due to rumors of his insanity and of his insobriety.
Poe possibly manipulated the Victorian’s insecurity regarding their very existence and included it within his tales in order to mock and magnify people’s faults. He perhaps sought to transfer the ire and shame mercilessly instigated by other people, onto the very same individuals who were not so fond of him. The distress is further enhanced through the nature of his short stories itself as he deals with delicate subjects such as death, murder and horror, in order to add to his ‘enemies’ vulnerability and simultaneously build up a screen of bravery and power for himself. Poe managed to fight back and regain some authority through this analogy which not only has probably satisfied his anger and indignation towards humanity but it also added a depth and mystery to his infamous stories. The orangutan will forever remain associated with human beings’ flaws and their failure in society. It is a warning against one’s unacceptable instinctual behaviour and an encouragement to think before ‘acting like orangutans’.
List of Works Cited
Capuano, Peter J., ‘Handling the Perceptual Politics of Identity in Great Expectations’, Dickens Quarterly 27, 3, (Sep 2010), pp. 185-254
Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore, George W. Eveleth to Edgar Allan Poe — January 19, 1847 <https://www.eapoe.org/misc/letters/t4701190.htm> [accessed 21 July 2017]
Poe, Edgar Allan, ‘Hop Frog’, in The Portable Edgar Allan Poe (New York: Penguin Group, 2006), pp. 215-224
Poe, Edgar Allan, ‘The Murders of the Rue Morgue’, in The Portable Edgar Allan Poe (New York: Penguin Group, 2006), pp. 238-270
Poe, Edgar Allan, ‘The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether’, in The Portable Edgar Allan Poe (New York: Penguin Group, 2006), pp. 359-376
 Edgar Allan Poe, ‘The Murders of the Rue Morgue’, in The Portable Edgar Allan Poe (New York: Penguin Group, 2006), pp. 238-270, p. 249.
 Poe, ‘The Murders of the Rue Morgue’, p. 250-270.
 Edgar Allan Poe, ‘Hop Frog’, in The Portable Edgar Allan Poe (New York: Penguin Group, 2006), pp. 215-224, p.220.
 Edgar Allan Poe, ‘The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether’, in The Portable Edgar Allan Poe (New York: Penguin Group, 2006), pp. 359-376, p. 375.
 Poe, ‘The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether’, p. 375.
 Peter J. Capuano, ‘Handling the Perceptual Politics of Identity in Great Expectations’, Dickens Quarterly 27, 3, (Sep 2010), pp. 185-254, p. 186.
 Capuano, p. 188.
 Capuano, p. 189.
 Capuano, p. 190-191.
 Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore, George W. Eveleth to Edgar Allan Poe — January 19, 1847 <https://www.eapoe.org/misc/letters/t4701190.htm> [accessed 21 July 2017].
The Border Between Life And Death
Edgar Allen Poe created an interesting paradigm surrounding his theory on cosmic principle. He sees the universe as God’s artistic creation dispersed among humankind. Artists, namely poets, bring together the universe by breaking free of their physical world and its correlating corruption and materialism. To do this, poets must use their imagination and delve deep into their minds to find the universe’s original harmony. Poe’s theory goes on to describe mankind’s dualistic nature, where man is both spiritual and rational. The spiritual side draws on imagination, emotion, and creativity while the rational side remains terrestrial and distant from cosmic unity. Ultimately, poets can regain unity with the universe only through death. In Poe’s “The Masque of Red Death,” Prince Prospero attempts to rid himself of the Red Death by retreating into his mind. Prospero represents the spiritualistic side of the poet, and Red Death represents the earthbound rationality of life.
Prospero represents the spiritual mind of his character. Poe describes the spiritual poet as someone who seeks to rid himself of his materialistic reality by “looking inward to the depths of his mind” (Poe’s Cosmology). Additionally, Prospero attempts to “free himself from time, reason, [and] the physical world” (Poe’s Cosmology). The dualistic poet creates his own reality – free of unpredictability, danger, or death – and utilizes his imagination, creativity, and emotions to become closer to the “harmony of the universe” (Poe’s Cosmology). In “The Masque of Red Death,” Red Death represents the experiences of life, and does so by creating a “voluptuous scene” (Poe 62). To escape the Red Death plague, Prospero withdraws “to the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys” and seals himself in with “gates of iron” (Poe 62). Prospero’s retreat is “bold and fiery” and filled with “much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, [and] much of the bizarre” (Poe 64). Prospero reconstructs a world within the abbey, where a “multitude of dreams…writhe(d) in and about,” floating around like the “wild music of the orchestra” (Poe 64). Prospero isolates himself into a world of emotion and imagery to escape his own profane physical surroundings, and thus Prospero creates an imaginary world of phantasmagoric surroundings inside the walls of the abbey. According to the concept of dualism, a poet surrounds himself with his own creativity and beauty to escape harsher reality. Likewise, Prospero surrounds himself with beautiful scenes and bizarre dreams in order to both escape the ugly reality of life and bar his physicality – represented by Red Death – from his mind.
Just as Prospero represents the spiritual side of the dualistic poet, Red Death represents the earthbound rationality of life. Poe describes this side of the dualistic poet as possessing “rational knowledge” and characterizes it as “sick, dark, and insensitive” (Poe’s Cosmology). This rational side can be seen as a series of inevitable constants: despair, pain, materialism, and death. In “The Masque of Red Death,” the fatal “Red Death” rampages Prospero’s country and infects people with “sharp pains…profuse bleeding… [and] seizure” (Poe 62). Prospero attempts to shut the plague out of his life, but at his grand party, the “presence of a masked figure” appears; “Neither wit or propriety exist(ed)” in this figure, dressed “in the habiliments of the grave” (Poe 65). Red Death lacks any “tangible form” and comes “like a thief in the night” for those who “shut him out” (Poe 66, 62). Prospero tries to attack Red Death, but he dies before he can even lay a hand on the impostor. Red Death – comprised of despair, pain, and death – symbolizes the rational side of Prospero as a dualistic poet. Furthermore, if Prospero is trying to escape the rational aspects of life, then he is trying essentially to escape life itself. Thus, Red Death also represents life in its entirety and as such, cannot be altogether eliminated or ignored. It is then ironic that Prospero causes his own downfall to death by trying to separate his mind from life.
According to Poe’s theory of dualism, Prospero represents the spiritualistic side of the poet, and Red Death represents the earthbound rationality of life. Poe dealt with unhappiness in his own life when the only women he ever loved died young. Conversely, Prospero deals with the inevitability of death in “The Masque of Red Death” by trying to run away from it. By attempting to separate his spiritual side from his rational side, Prospero’s persona dies and only then becomes unified with the universe.
Women in Transit
In his stories “Ligea,” “Berenice,” and “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe shows a series of women in transit. All the women are in transit between death and life. The fact that this path is not one-way emphasizes the flux. More immediately, the narrator always catches these women in transit between physical places. The one glimpse we get of Madeline Usher comes when the lady “passed slowly through a remote portion of the apartment, and, without having noticed my presence, disappeared” (120). In “Berenice” the instance in which the titular character is actually present occurs when Berenice dashes into the room, bears her white teeth, and dashes out, never speaking a word (88). Of Ligea the narrator says, “she came and departed as a shadow” (104). The narrator almost never captures these women standing still or speaking a word. The perpetual state of physical transit seems to underscore the larger state of mortal flux in which these women exist.
Their perpetual flux also elucidates Poe’s notion of beauty. Each of these transitory women is the defining subject of stories that take “the most poetic topic in the world:” “the death of a beautiful women” (Philosophy). But if the death of beauty is the center of these stories, why do we only get fleeting glimpses of the women? How are we to know their beauty? It seems that the very quality of beauty lies in its ethereal, unsubstantive quality; or, as Poe says it differently, as “not a quality.” As opposed to truth, which is of the intellect, and passion, which is of the heart, beauty is of the soul. While heart and mind would seem to come to judgements based on contemplation of empirical data, it seems that the soul’s way of knowing (though perhaps knowing is not a good word) is based on the immediate effect of this empirical data. The transitory women are thus the ideal subjects of beauty. As the heart and mind can easily corrupt the soul, it seems the ideal way for the soul to confront beauty is to come only briefly in contact with it, not allowing for the heart or mind to begin their corruption. The most valuable quality of these women is not something they do or say, but rather some immediate emanation.
But in order for this immediate emanation beauty to live on, the woman must also absent herself from the viewers heart and mind: truth and passion are “absolutely antagonistic to that Beauty” (Philosophy). Therefore, Poe’s notion of beauty also relies on what one does not know of the object of beauty, namely all her humanly perfections. These holdings of the intellect and heart corrupt the transparent sheet of beauty. It is thus understandable that Poe drives all of his women to death. It is with them under the ground that he can maintain his fantasy of their voiceless, actionless perfection. Perhaps the constant premature entombment of these women stems from a deeper fantasy to place all women in a space where he can keep his romantic notion of them alive.