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Persuasive Research Paper on Edgar Allen Poe re The Cask of Amontillado - Essay Example

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In Edger Allan Poe's short story The Cask Of Amontillado, although it is only three pages long, we can see a miniature all the elements that Edger Allan Poe repeatedly uses in all of the stories and poems. His themes are almost a perfect precursor of all of the main themes and preoccupations of the 20th century, and his techniques of mood and psychological extraction presages many of the later techniques utilized by many of the great writers of our own time.
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Persuasive Research Paper on Edgar Allen Poe re The Cask of Amontillado
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Download file to see previous pages Cronenberg actually pays particular homage to Poe in one of his most popular films:
His "Dead Zone" (based on a story by Stephen King, like Kubrick's "The Shining" opens with a recitation of a "The Raven" and deals with the dissolution of a man of exaggerated sensitivity... The self-destructive twins of Dead Ringers recall pose the various doppelgngers with boundary issues. (Hayes.p128)
Edger Allan Poe was a master in the art of creating a mood of suspense, tension, mood, and terror. And all of his works we find elements of bleakness and suspense, often times mixed with strange and unsettling elements of depravity and perversity; yet paradoxically in most of his works the narrator, although often times submerged or controlled to the point of abject subjugation or subsisting in total despair, almost consistently manages to overcome whatever terrible situation he is confronted with, generally through the application of the rational power of mind.
In The Cask Of Amontillado one of the main elements that we find is the passage of the main character into the depths of a dank and dark cavern or labyrinth. In many respects we can look at the two characters that descend into the depths of the cellar in The Cask Of Amontillado as representing two aspects of the personality of the narrator.
While on the surface it may appear that in The Cask Of Amontillado we are presented with the tale of an horrendous crime committed by the narrator against someone who the narrator seems to hold some great but yet unstated grievance against, in my opinion what we are really presented with in this story is the tale of the repression by the narrator of an aspect of his personality that he cannot face dealing with, and which he must bind and secure, and seal up in the darkness, forever, until the time of his own death.
In other words, the narrator is locking away forever what we might call today in Freud's terminology the Id. Freud himself, in the preface to the main scholarly work on Poe, took note of this:
"My friend and student Marie Bonaparte has projected the light of psychoanalysis onto the life and work of a great writer with pathological tendencies." (Bonaparte: preface)
Other theorist and writer have also noted the similarities between the main thrust of Freud's work and Poe's writings:
Yet by 1933 when Marie Bonaparte published her 700 page "Edger Poe - A Psychoanalytic Study", it was clear that psychoanalysis could inspire new and innovative ways of reading literature.
Theorists and critics quickly recognize the opportunities both presented for psychoanalytic study, given his thick shins emphasis on hidden motives and detection, altered states of consciousness, sadism, and obsession as well as the self destructive tendencies he exhibited in his own life" (Peeples p29-30)
We can see each of the elements that are in miniature in The Cask Of Amontillado in three of the most popular short stories by Edger Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher, Murders in the Rue Morgue, and The Pit and The Pendulum.
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