Edgar Allan Poe’s Eleonora: Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most illustrious litterateur’s to have graced the art in the United States of America. His short stories and poems were enjoyed by the public during his own life time as they are still relished contemporarily…
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It will pay attention to the influences of the Romantic Movement in literature as well as the bearing of popular psychological theories such as The Uncanny presented subsequently by Sigmund Freud. The short story Eleonora is lyrical testament to the power of romantic love. A story without any plot whatsoever, its aesthetics lies in the portrayal of depths of passion and the glory of love. It is as much a eulogy to love as it is an excuse for breaking off past promises. Yet, there is no contradiction here, as the promises made to the protagonist’s previous lover have eroded in relevance in the narrator’s ‘second epoch of life’ as he calls it. German physician Friedrich Anton Mesmer’s (1734-1815) scientific method of delving into the human psyche is of help in analyzing the story, for it provides a medium with access to the subject’s inner world and secrets that lay beyond human existence. i This then novel scientific approach “became the cutting-edge development in scientific research to approach the mysteries of the spiritual world and the dark side of the human mind. The Romantic poet, therefore, employed the motif of the double as the chance to investigate the passions and illnesses of the human mind and to examine the presence of a supernatural world.” ii The storyline in Eleonora is quite simple. The unnamed narrator (probably Poe himself) recollects two distinct periods or chapters in his life. The first one ends with the premature death of his beloved cousin Eleonora. The second one ends with his marriage to Ermengarde, his heartthrob of late. During the first phase, the narrator recollects all the wonderful moments he spent with his cousin Eleonara, whom he was about to marry if not for her terminally declining health. This morbid stipulation of time only heightens their love for each other. Instead of dousing interest in the relationship, it serves as a catalyst in consolidating the lovers’ bond. At one such heightened moment of heart-felt love, the narrator promises to Eleonora that even after her death he would remain loyal to her. By remaining loyal to the memory of their love, he believes, he will retain his beloved’s spiritual grace from the heavens, where she would watch over him for the rest of his life, till he joins her eventually one day. Thus ends the first phase of his life, with the promise to and death of Eleonora. In the second phase of the narrator’s life, having been discouraged by the emptiness of life without Eleonora, the narrator decides to seek a livelier atmosphere by participating in worldly affairs. Idealistic and endearing an idea this was, it would be severely tested and defeated in the face of the charms of Ermengarde. The author’s endeavor is to reconcile these apparently contradictory actions on part of the narrator. Poe is able to achieve this goal by stylized application of the best features of Romantic Movement in literature, which was in vogue in the early decades of the 19th century. Although Poe preceded Freud, there is evidence of some of the latter’s theories in Poe’s works, including Eleonora. One of the theories articulated by Sigmund Freud is that of Cognitive Dissonance. We can witness this at play as the narrator justifies his abandonment of the promises made to the deceased Eleonora in the face of th
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This poem is in form of a narration where the persona talks about his grief over the death of a beautiful woman. The main theme is undying devotion where the narrator experiences a conflict over the desire to let go of the grief over his dead lover or to continue grieving.
Poe’s fiction celebrates both the hyper-rationality of the detective and the inability of philosophy to account for the perverse”. Poe never did get much money for his writing during his life, even though he held several editorial positions.
It is not often that a writer tells a story with such simplicity and panache and yet captures the deepest desires and nature of human beings with such perfection that the reader cannot help but admire the art of storytelling. Edgar Allen Poe is amongst one of those fine writers who could use words and plot stories that can capture a reader’s attention and The Black Cat is one of his fine creations.
According to the research findings, use of central narration indicates that the story revolves around the inner terror and the innate evil that exists in people. Use of first-person narration is related to the idea that telling the story from the victim’s perspective would not portray the memorable qualities to the readers’ attention.
In fact Poe perhaps is the first great writer to deal with many of the issues of the unconscious, the subconscious, and the dark forces of the Id that were later exposed by such great writers as Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Jules Verne in the 19th century, and such writers as Franz Kafka, Marcel Proust, William Faulkner, Truman Capote, Steven King, and Joyce Carol Oates, and the film maker David Cronenberg in the 20th century.
Given Roderick Usher's moribund mind, the grounds and the house can only be expected to produce a disconcerting effect on the viewer. The house is haunted, not by the dead, but by the barely-living. Poe's depiction of a crumbling world introduces the fragile remnants of the Usher family and foreshadows their inescapable demise.
Thesis In this short story, the role of narrator is crucial, still there are some facts which make his narration unreliable.
Montresor, the protagonist of the short story, an aristocrat who values honour and his good name above all. He insists that he has been insulted by Fortunato, and wants to take revenge upon him.
After struggling to find his niche, Poe’s first book of poems was published when he was only 19 and he began writing short stories at the age of 23. In perfecting this form, Poe said: “If any literary work is too long to be read at one sitting, we must be content to dispense with the immensely important effect derivable from unity of impression”.
Poe contrasts this with the concept that family always leads to loss and the incapability of holding onto the family unit. The presentation that Poe gives about the family ultimately leads to the idea of loss and death of the family. The loss and death of the family is one that Poe describes not only with death, but also how this leads to bondage.
Sometimes these evil designs make the culprit commit some heinous crimes such as murder. Such instances of abnormal behavior are the popular subject of story writers who try to explore the sources of evil in the inner recesses of human mind
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