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Edgar Allen Poe (The Black Cat, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Murders in the Rue Morgue) - Essay Example

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Edgar Allen Poe is widely regarded today as an author who was ahead of his time, in terms of literary conventions, the development of the modern short-story form, and other innovations, including his use of unconventional meter in poetry. Certainly, during his time, Poe was not as appreciated as he is today. …
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Edgar Allen Poe (The Black Cat, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Murders in the Rue Morgue)
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Download file to see previous pages Looking at the stories “The Black Cat,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” one can see psychological complexities and keen descriptions of human behavior, which show Poe to be an author with a keen grasp of the human mind and its workings. In terms of background, before the analysis of these stories, something must be said of Poe himself. Although he is best remembered as a writer of macabre and horror stories, but he was also an extensive essayist, poet, and prolific originator of new forms of literature in America. Poe’s early life was marked by hardship as his estranged foster father never gave him any money (his mother was a vaudeville actress) and expected him to get a job like an accountant, and frowned on his ideas of becoming a writer. Poe joined the military as a young man in part to get away from this situation, and even at the height of his writing career, he was plagued by problems of financial difficulties and alcoholism. “Poe is one of the best-known American authors, but his literary legacy is complex and confusing. Poe pioneered many of the most enduring forms of American popular culture, including the detective story, science fiction, and the gothic or sensational tale; yet he also exerted a profound influence on Modernism… Poe’s fiction celebrates both the hyper rationality of the detective and the inability of philosophy to account for the perverse” (Lauter, 2006). Poe never did get much money for his writing during his life, even though he held several editorial positions. However, his stories show an author with a keen interest, intellect, and instinctive knack for the psychological workings of the mind. Seeing these beginnings that reflect on Poe’s own life leads to a possible parallel between Poe’s knack for psychology and Dupin in his story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” who appears not to be just a detective, but also a mind-reader. Secondary sources also can shed light or obfuscate a text, but most commentators seem to see this story as the birth of the modern detective. Before the real action of Poe’s story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” begins, there is a long prelude section in which the narrator, before introducing the Dupin character, goes into a deep analysis of different kinds of cleverness and psychological powers in humans. This prelude brings up a lot of the themes that then go on to define what Dupin seeks to display in his own use of psychological cleverness and mental acumen. The narrator makes distinctions between different kinds of acumen and cleverness, and clearly values one kind over the other. It is interesting to see the game of chess brought down a notch when the narrator says that it does not really take any true cleverness to play it, but rather only intense concentration (Poe, 2010). In this section, Poe is clearly using the games of chess and checkers as metaphors for the psychology of the human mind. So much is made of chess as a metaphor, today as in Poe’s time, and it is interesting to hear a point of view that states that true cleverness and acumen might best be shown in the way a person plays checkers, instead of chess. That is, people can memorize chess moves and pay attention to the possible complicated array of pieces and moves: the rook can only go straight, the bishop can only go on a diagonal, and the knight can only leap in L-shapes. The narrator notes that the complicated game of chess is one thing, but someone playing checkers is involved ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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The topic of "Edgar Allen Poe (The Black Cat, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Murders in the Rue Morgue)" is quite often seen among the tasks in college. Still, this document opens a brand new perspective of seeing the question. I’ll use the idea for my own example.

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