Name:-Italiya kinjal B.
Paper –E-C 303: American Literature Topic: Poe’s select short stories.
Batch: - SEM -III
Submitted to: - Dr Dilip Barad
Poe’s select short stories.
Poe was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the deductive fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science Fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career. His publishing career began humbly, with an anonymous collection of poems, Tamerlane and other poems (1827), credited only to "a Bostonian"
The fall ofthe House of usher (1939)
“The Fall of the House of Usher” possesses the quintessential -features of the Gothic tale: a haunted house, dreary landscape, mysterious sickness, and doubled personality. For all its easily identifiable Gothic elements, however, part of the terror of this story is its vagueness. Awoman also returns from the dead in The fall ofthe House of usher. The story’s narrator is summoned by his boyhood friend Roderick Usher to visit him during a period of emotional distress. The narrator discovers that Roderick’s twin sister, Madeline is also sick. She takes a turn for the worse shortly after the narrators arrival, and the men bury Madeline in a tomb within the house. They later discover, to their horror, that they have entombed her alive.madeline claws her way out, collapsing eventually on Roderick, who dies in fear?
Madeline Usher - Roderick’s twin sister and victim of catalepsy, a mysterious incapacitating illness. Because the narrator is surprised to discover that Madeline is a twin, she signals the narrator’s outsider relationship to the house of Usher.
Unnamed narrator - Roderick’s best boyhood friend. Contacted by Roderick during his emotional distress, the narrator knows little about the house of Usher and is the first outsider to visit the mansion in many years.
The tell-Tale heart (1843)
Poe uses his words economically in the “Tell-Tale Heart” it is one of his shortest stories to provide a study of paranoia and mental deterioration. Poe strips the story of excess detail as a way to heighten the murderer’s obsession with specific and unadorned entities: the old man’s eye, the heartbeat, and his own claim to sanity. Ossessed with the vulture-like etc of an old man he otherwise loves and trust, the narrator smothers the old man, dismembers his body, and conceals the parts under the floorboards of the bedroom When the police arrive to investigate reports of the old man’s shrieks, the narrator attempts to keep his cool, but here’s What he thinks is the beating of the old man’s heart. Panicking, afraid that the police know his secret, he ropes up the floorboards and confesses his crime.
U unnamed narrator - The murderer of the old man. Addressing the reader, the narrator offers his tale of precise murder and dismemberment as an argument for his sanity. Old man - The narrator’s murder victim. The narrator’s obsession with the old man’s one vulture-eye indicates the insanity that the narrator wants to deny.
The cask of amontillado (1846)
The terror of “The Cask of Amontillado,” as in many of Poe’s tales, resides in the lack of evidence that accompanies Montessori’s claims to Fortunate’s “thousand injuries” and “insult.” The story features revenge and secret murder as a way to avoid using legal channels for retribution. Law is nowhere on Montessori’s or Poe’s—radar screen, and the enduring horror of the story is the fact of punishment without proof. Montessori uses his subjective experience of Fortunate’s insult to name himself judge, jury, and executioner in this tale, which also makes him an unreliable narrator.
The vengeful Montresor repays the supposed in The vengeful montresor repays the supposed insults of his enemy, fortunate.luring fortunate into the crypts of his home with the promise of Amontillado sherry, montresor entombs Fortunato in a wall while the carnival rages s above them
The purloined Letter (1844)
“The Purloined Letter” establishes a new genre of short fiction in American literature: the detective story. Poe considered “The Purloined Letter” his best detective story, and critics have long identified the ways in which it redefines the mystery genre it turns away from action toward intellectual analysis, for example.
In this sequel to “The Murders in the rue Morgue,”Dupin recovers a stolen letter to foil a villains plan. The police attempt thorough investigations but come up with nothing. Identifying with the criminal mind, dupin discovers evidence so obvious that it had gone unnoticed.
C. Auguste Dupin - A savvy and learned Parisian who helps the city’s police solve crimes. Dupin uses psychology to foil the plans of a thief and uncover a stolen letter that the police of Paris could not uncover by conventional investigations.
Unnamed narrator - A friend of Dupin. In awe of Dupin’s brilliance, the narrator faithfully recounts Dupin’s explanations without doubting or challenging him.
Themes, Motifs & Symbols
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.
Love and HatePoe discovers the similarity of love and hate in many stories, especially “The Tell-Tale Heart”.” Poe depicts the psychological complexity of these two evidently opposite emotions; highlight the ways they mysteriously blend into each other. Poe’s psychological insight expects the theories of Sigmund Freud, the Austrian founder of psychoanalysis and one of the twentieth century’s most influential thinkers.
Self vs. Alter EgoIn many of Poe’s Gothic tales, characters wage internal conflicts by creating imaginary alter egos or assuming alternate and opposite personalities. The Cask of Amontillado.
The Power of the Dead over the LivingPoe often gives memory the power to keep the dead alive. Poe distorts this otherwise commonplace literary theme by bringing the dead literally back to life, employing memory as the trigger that reawakens the dead.
Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes.
The MasqueradeAt masquerades Poe’s characters abandon social conventions and leave themselves vulnerable to crime. In “The Cask of Amontillado,” for -example, Montresor uses the carnival’s masquerade to fool Fortunato into his own demise. The masquerade carries the traditional meanings of joy and social liberation. Reality is suspended, and people can temporarily assume another identity. Montresor exploits these sentiments to do Fortunato real harm.
AnimalsIn Poe’s murder stories, homicide requires animalistic element. Animals kill, they die, and animal imagery provokes and informs crimes committed between men. Animals signal the absence of human reason and morality, but sometimes humans prove less rational than their beastly counterparts. In “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the murderer dehumanizes his victims by likening him to animal. The narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart” claims to hate and murder the old man’s “vulture eye,” which he describes as “pale blue with a film over it.” He attempts to justify his actions by implicitly comparing himself to a helpless creature threatened by a hideous scavenger. In the “Cask of Amontillado,” Montresor does the reverse, readying himself to commit the crime by equating himself with an animal. In killing Fortunato, he cites his family arms, a serpent with its fangs in the heel of a foot stepping on it, and motto, which is translated “no one harms me with impunity.” Fortunato, whose insult has spurred Montresor to revenge, becomes the man whose foot harms the snake Montresor and is punished with a lethal bite.
Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.
EyesIn “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the narrator fixates on the idea that an old man is looking at him with the Evil Eye and transmitting a curse on him. At the same time that the narrator obsesses over the eye, he wants to separate the old man from the Evil Eye in order to spare the old man from his violent reaction to the eye. The narrator reveals his inability to recognize that the “eye” is the “I,” or identity, of the old man. The eyes symbolize the essence of human identity, which cannot be separated from the body. The eye cannot be killed without causing the man to die.
“Fortunato”In “The Cask of Amontillado,” Poe uses Fortunato’s name symbolically, as an ironic device. Though his name means “the fortunato one” in Italian, Fortunato meets an unfortunate fate as the victim of Montresor’s revenge. Fortunato adds to the irony of his name by wearing the costume of a court jester. While Fortunato plays in jest, Montresor sets out to fool him, with murderous results.
His tales are Tales of grotesque and arabesque. Tales of ratiocination and mystery. He is the Master of macabre. The celebrant of terror and death