Poe's Stories brief biography of edgar allan poe

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Short Story By Flannery OConnor
Found in a Bottle, the antagonist is both the supernatural weather and the strange breed of men on the ship. In The Black
Cat, the rival takes the form of a cat, which seems to have a sixth sense for the narrator’s anxiety. Often the source of the rivalry is a mystery, as in The Cask of Amontillado, where the narrator explains that a man called Fortunato has wronged him and expresses his desire for revenge without ever explaining the nature of the original wronging. And then the punishment he exacts on Fortunato is so extreme, that it suggests that perhaps the act tells more about how unhinged the narrator is—or how unhinged his sense of rivalry has made him—than it tells about the criminality of Fortunato. In fact, sometimes the rivalry is free of offense entirely. In the case of The Tell-Tale
Heart, the narrator simply can't stand the old man’s vulture eye
Otherwise, the old man seems to be entirely innocent. The narrator's hatred is built up based on almost nothing. And yet it exists, and overwhelms him.
Poe’s use of rivalry does not always exist between a man and some external person or force. Sometimes the rivalry is the self against the self. A doppelganger is a German term fora figure,
often paranormal, that seems to be the exact double of someone else. It is a phenomenon explored in several of Poe’s stories, including Ligeia’s doubling of the Lady of Tremaine and the cat in The Black Cat which seems almost to be the reincarnated in a ghostly form. But sometimes these
doppelgangers suggest a condition more complicated than a case of paranormal doubleness. Sometimes the doppelganger is so similar to the teller of the story that it seems to indicate that the narrator is suffering from some kind of split personality or other mental disorder. Psychological insecurity brings about some of the most frightening moments in Poe's stories, and turns the stories on their heads everything that seemed to be caused by some paranormal force suddenly seems like it might actually be rooted in the mind.
In each story, it is the threat of death that pulls the plot along and that creates the suspense that Poe's stories are famous for. In The Pit and the Pendulum,
the expectation of death, first by hanging, then with the pendulum, then into the pit, forces the narrator to confront his own mortality time and time again. In The Masque of the Red
Death, death is personified and hangs over the story as a charismatic figure. This obsession with death can lend a menacing, almost masochistic tone to the stories voices, and a feeling of unavoidable motion in the plot, as if the characters are in a downward spiral towards their ends.
But at times, the difference between life and death is not clear- cut, and this haziness between life and death only adds to the menace of the stories. Sometimes Poe’s characters comeback from death or are in a constant state of ghostliness or unreality.
In Ligeia, for example, death is not the end at all, and the line between death and life and ghostly purgatory keeps changing and dissolving, allowing Ligeia and Rowena to slip in and out of mortality. In M.S. Found in a Bottle, the whole crew of the ship that the narrator finds himself seems unable to die or really live.
Nearly all of his stories explore the way death haunts or impacts the living, and the porousness between death and life,
life and death, in these stories makes that haunting feel real to the reader.
Originating in 18th Century England, Gothic
Literature was an important and distinctive movement in literary history, with a body of definite themes and symbols that has grown and changed as the genre has spread across the world and across time. But some core aspects remain definitive of the Gothic style, including Gloomy settings like castles, dungeons, prisons and vaults haunting figures, ghostly and somewhat unreal symbols and colors that suggest the gory and supernatural. The Gothic style of Poe’s stories ties them all together, with their morbid, gory,
suspense-filled plots and solitary, romantic settings, like the location of Prince Prospero’s strange masquerade. Colors black and red, and visual symbols like evil eyes and black cats,
vaults and cellars, create a very recognizable gothic world, so that all
Poe’s stories seem to belong in one collection. Poe is famous for bringing Gothic literature into the Victorian era and incorporating psychology into their themes, making the supernatural more believable and close to home.
While many of Poe's characters are married, and others are often visiting with friends or acquaintances, the overriding sense of Poe’s stories is one of loneliness and solitude. Each story leaves the character alone to face his destiny, fear, pain, or crime by himself. In The Pit and the Pendulum, the narrator is alone in a cell and describing each encounter with mortal terror—he exists in the cell solely with death. In M.S. Found in a Bottle, the
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narrator writes a diary of his struggle aboard a paranormal vessel. The installments of his adventure seem like the narrator is confiding in us, the reader, and we alone are privy to his impending doom when he knows the ship is entering a whirlpool.
The aspect of loneliness to Poe’s narrators gives us a window into the mentality of the characters, giving a view of precisely how their consciousness changes, how they go from calm to panic, and a host of other psychological phenomena. For example, when the narrator first enters the House of Usher, he experiences a strange sensation in his mind that he cannot quite explain, which grows stronger and stranger as he looks into the water that surrounds the house and sees its inverted image. But even though the solitary, interior-monologue-led narration provides an intimate view of a character’s consciousness, it also accentuates the disconcerting atmosphere of the story when it becomes clear that the narrator is unreliable and can't be trusted. The Fall of the House

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