This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Brief Analysis Of The Works Of Edgar Allan Poe

1632 words - 7 pages

Readers get an education when it comes to the role that the first-person narrator takes on some of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories. In “The Tell-Tale Heart” (1843) the unnamed narrator is not trying to convince the reader that he is not guilty, just that he is not crazy. He was justified in killing the old man with the “vulture-like eye” and hiding the body under the floorboards of his home. He may be trying to save his own skin, but that is not the point. The crime is not in question; it is the narrator’s sanity. How can one trust the storyteller, if you only get one part of the story?
This is what makes the journey as a reader more interesting. How do you discern the truth? This is ...view middle of the document...

However each lady suffers a tragic fate, in part, by the men who love her. The readers only get one side of the story, that of the narrator. Everything is questionable—the relationships, the alleged love story, even the narrator’s own sanity. It is up to the reader to figure out the veracity of each tale.

“Berenice” – Like Pulling Teeth

Egaeus, the narrator, is a sickly man who is about to marry his cousin. According to Egaeus he described Berenice as

Oh, gorgeous yet fantastic beauty! … Oh, Naiad among its fountains! And then—then all is mystery and terror, and a tale which should not be told. Disease—a fatal disease, fell like the simoon upon her frame; and even, while I gazed upon her, the spirit of change swept over her, pervading her mind, her habits, and her character, and, in a manner the most subtle and terrible, disturbing even the identity of her person! Alas! the destroyer came and went!—and the victim—where is she? I knew her not—knew her no longer as Berenice! (582).

The beauty that was his soon-to-be wife disappeared and now she is a shell of her former self. She is dying from some form of catalepsy or epilepsy and it wounds him. He feels that he is also dying and nothing will bring him back to life. The only thing that saves him is her smile, aminly her teeth. It will be Egaeus obsession.

They parted; and in a smile of peculiar meaning, the teeth of the changed Berenice disclosed themselves slowly to my view. Would to God that I had never beheld them, or that, having done so, I had died! (584).

Then further ahead

I more seriously believed que tous ses dents [all her teeth] etaient des idees!… I felt that their possession could alone ever restore me to peace, in giving me back to reason (584).

Shortly thereafter a servant arrives to inform Egaeus that Berenice has died. She is buried and according to the narrator he suffered some sort of fugue state where he has no memory as to what happened (at least that is what he claims).

“But of that dreary period which intervened [Berenice’s burial] I had no positive, at least no definite comprehension. Yet its memory was replete with horror… (584).

It is not until the end of the story when a servant shrieks in terror as he sees Egaeus and points at his master’s clothing “muddy and clotted with gore” and “indented with human nails.” There were some objects by the wall—a spade and a box inside “some instruments of dental surgery, intermingled with thirty-two small, white, and ivory-looking substances that were scattered to and fro about the floor.”

Berenice was alive and Egaeus obsession made a bad thing even worse. He is in denial as to what he did that he identified Berenice’s teeth as “ivory-looking substances.” He turns something ugly into a beautiful thing as he describes what he sees. Egaeus does not want to believe that he did what he did. Just on that element alone, his story needs to be questioned.
However in fiction things do not tend to be so...

Find Another Essay On Brief Analysis of The Works of Edgar Allan Poe

The Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe

1459 words - 6 pages Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe. This was the most fun I have had writing a paper. I just enjoy both of these authors so much and they are both so amazing. When I read my first book by Nathaniel Hawthorne which happened to be The Scarlet Letter I just could not put it down. I read that book three times in two weeks. When I first read The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe I did not understand it at first but then I kept reading and it started to

Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe´s Literature

1103 words - 5 pages Edgar Allan Poe has a unique writing style that uses several different elements of literary structure. He uses intrigue vocabulary, repetition, and imagery to better capture the reader’s attention and place them in the story. Edgar Allan Poe’s style is dark, and his is mysterious style of writing appeals to emotion and drama. What might be Poe’s greatest fictitious stories are gothic tend to have the same recurring theme of either death, lost

Literary Analysis of The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

681 words - 3 pages Literary Analysis of The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe The life of Edgar Allan Poe was as morbid and melancholy as his works. After the abandonment by his father and the disturbing death of his mother, both prominent traveling actors, Edgar was reluctantly forced into orphanage. He was later taken into the home of John Allan, a wealthy tobacco merchant. Their relationship was shaky, at best, and the contention between

Analysis of the Poem by Edgar Allan Poe "Bridal Ballad"

1271 words - 5 pages 1837 January edition of the Southern Literary Messenger. It was later re-titled as "Bridal Ballad" when it was printed in the 31st of July edition of the Saturday Evening Post in 1841. The stanzas, as well as rhyming and other techniques, construct a natural flow and rhythm for the poem and emphasise the bride's emotional distress. The poem is one of the few works by Edgar Allan Poe to be written in the perspective of a woman, specifically a

The Mysteries of Edgar Allan Poe

857 words - 4 pages stories simply meant that the reader must understand what the author is saying. Works Cited "Edgar Allan Poe." - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More. Academy of American Poets, n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2014. "Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - General Topics - The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe." Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Main Page. Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore, 24 Jan. 2009. Web. 11 Feb. 2014. Poe, Edgar Allan

The Power of One: Edgar Allan Poe

1860 words - 8 pages his pain. Without these many heartbreaks and relationships, Poe would not have had a successful career. Works Cited A&E. The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe. Narr. Peter Graves. 27 Oct. 1994. Television. Art Directory. “Edgar Allan Poe.” Art Directory, n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2014. . “Biography of Edgar Allan Poe.” Design 215, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.

The Life of Edgar Allan Poe

4971 words - 20 pages magazine but his lifelong financial problems kept the dream always just out of reach. He did however manage to become the father of the short story, and the first comprehensive detective story author. During his time, his literary works were overlooked or slandered by his many enemies. But now, to this day, Edgar Allan Poe is a household name. His works such as “The Raven” are known to almost everyone for their rhythmic meter and captivating emotions. The tragedies in Edgar Allan Poe’s life left him lovesick and depressed, and compelled him to write about tales of beauty, love, and loss.

The Life of Edgar Allan Poe

1592 words - 6 pages stories' author in early 1836. He also wrote as a critic of other literary works. Edgar Allan Poe was famous for both his gothic horror writing and the gothic horror of his life and he was generally credited with inventing the modern detective or short stories”(The life of Poe, 76-77). “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary”(Edgar Allan Poe: His Life and Legacy 76). One contemporary described him as "a pretty wild young

The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe

1563 words - 6 pages The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe What was the mystery of Edgar Allan Poe? Why was he so special? He was special because he helped change poetry by giving it different focuses. Through looking at Edgar Allan Poe's life, we will understand what motivated him to write what he did, what the meaning was behind these works, and how this changed poetry. Before Edgar Allan Poe, the common belief was that poetry should be about Truth, and that

The Genius of Edgar Allan Poe

3655 words - 15 pages The Genius of Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe remains today one of the most unique figures in American literary history. Critics have likened him to both Leonardo Da Vinci and the "Jingle Man" ; either the keystone of American literature or simply a writer of fashionable entertainment. As a person and a writer, Poe is also a collection of contradictions. One thing is for certain, few people have left a more lasting impression in the minds

The Childhood of Edgar Allan Poe

727 words - 3 pages Allan." The Grolier Library of North American Biographies. Ed. Julia Banks. 1st ed. Vol. 10. Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1995. 188-90. Print. Writers. "Alone." - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More. Web. 12 Dec. 2009. . Biography:Edgar Allan Poe. Prod. CBS. 2004. DVD. Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Main Page. Oct. 2009. Web. 10 Dec. 2009. . Wilson, James S. "Poe's Life." Edgar Allan Poe Museum : Richmond Virginia : Features Poe's Works, Relics, Photos, and Life. 2004. Web. 12 Dec. 2009. .

Similar Essays

A Brief History Of Edgar Allan Poe

1321 words - 6 pages perspectives too? Works Cited Hoffman, Daniel. "The Fall of the House of Usher." : An Allegory of the Artist." Readings on Edgar Allan Poe. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1998. 169-79. Print. Set. 3. Ljungquist, Kent. "Poe, Edgar Allan”. Academic World Book. World Book, 2014. Web. 6 May, 2014. “Poe, Edgar Allan.” American Authors, 1600-1900 (1938): Biography Reference Bank (H.W. Wilson). Web. 8 May 2014. Poe, Edgar A. “Fall of the House of Usher

The Life And Works Of Edgar Allan Poe

852 words - 3 pages In appearance, Edgar Allan Poe was a quiet, shy looking man, but his works did not reflect that. Poe wrote gothic horror; stories of fear, pain, and death. Poe's work is particularly worth reading because it keeps readers engaged and on the edge of their seats. During his time there were many factors that could have contributed to the genre of Poe's writings. Although thought of as a troubled man, Poe is one of the world's most famous and

The Life And Works Of Edgar Allan Poe

2089 words - 8 pages his greatest works. Though it is a sad thing, the fact that Poe felt alone most of his life fueled his inspiration for his stories and poems that still prevail in the literary world today. Edgar Allan Poe led a life of both extreme tragedy and unquestionable success. Although Poe never got to see his prose and poetry reach the level of success that they have reached today, he did get to see a little bit of what was to come. When he started

Autobiographical Elements In The Works Of Edgar Allan Poe

1507 words - 6 pages father disowning him, all at onetime. The most significant set-back to Edgar Allan Poe was the death of hiscousin/wife Virginia Clemm. This single incident was the cause of almost allof his feelings of isolation in his in his adulthood. He felt as though anyonehe became close to would die.Poe wrote about isolation in many of his most popular works. 'A DreamWithin a Dream' was not one of his more popular poems, but it discussed thedifficult process of