Disguised Motives For Murder In Short Stories By Edgar Allen Poe

1722 words - 7 pages ✓ Expert Reviewed

In the mid 1800’s America was in full swing of the romanticism movement. During this time readers were entertained by the fresh new writing styles of the latest authors. There were several famous authors in this era such as: Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, and William Cullen Bryant. One innovative author from this movement however, added a new dynamic writing style that still intrigues many readers today. Edgar Allen Poe, through his invention of detective stories, has become a house hold name to many. In his short stories “The Tell Tale Heart” and “The Black Cat,” Poe describes two heinous crimes committed by men whose motives can only be traced back to their deranged perception of reality, domestic relationships, and a soul whose thirst can only be quenched through violence.
In the stories, “The Tell Tale Heart” and “The Black Cat,” both narrators have a misguided perception that induces their senses to confuse reality with delusions. This misguided perception is brought on by the abnormal psychology of both men. This is a common theme in Poes’ stories. In “The Black Cat” the narrator feels a sense of fright and disgust when reviewing the attached behavior of the second cat. Poe’s description of the second cat is eerily similar to that of the first cat, Pluto. As author Magdalen Wing-Chi Ki states, “the narrator is convinced that it ‘must be’ Pluto on account of two things: it follows him around in the hope of becoming his absolute partner, and one of its eyes is gone.” A rational person understands that it is impossible for the second cat to be Pluto, but the narrator is so misguided that he believes this inconceivable delusion. This mistaken fantasy fuels the narrator’s madness, giving him more evidence that murder is the only option.
As witnessed in “The Black Cat,” Poe continues with the delusions of reality in “The Tell Tale Hart.” The narrator in “The Tell Tale Heart” is under the illusion that the old man’s eye is evil and the only way to overcome this wickedness is to destroy it. This insane perception leads the narrator to construct a precise plan to be used in the assassination of the old man. As the narrator executes his plan by spying on the old man at night, his psychotic delusions are reinforced by his observations. As J. Gerald Kennedy puts it, “Entering a realm of fantasy and hallucination (objectified in the nightmarish cityscape), the narrator believes he has seen, by the ‘fitful and garish lustre’ of gas lamps, emblems of the old man's sinister nature” (“Limits of Reason”). The narrator’s menacing personality establishes a motive for the execution of the old man.
Along with the manic illustration of the narrators, Poe also introduces direct and indirect language during both stories to describe how the domestic life of each narrator possibly plays a role in their rage. Through direct statements, the narrator in “The Black Cat” lets the reader know that his fondness for animals was made possible by his...

Find Another Essay On Disguised Motives for Murder in Short Stories by Edgar Allen Poe

Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe

1155 words - 5 pages “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” is a classic mystery by Edgar Allen Poe that inspired many later authors in the mystery genre to follow its example. The reason this short story left such an impression on people is most likely because of how it was published. There are many different techniques the publishers used in order to draw attention to the tale, such as the paratexts and the surrounding poems. Some of this work is unintentional, but...

Symbolism in The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

1170 words - 5 pages Symbolism in The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe Like many of Edgar Allen Poe's works, 'The Tell-Tale Heart' is full of death and darkness. Poe used many of the real life tragedies he experienced as inspiration for his gothic style of writing. Poe dealt with many aspects of death and madness in his stories, madness again is playing a key role in the plot. In this short story Poe used literary devices such as point of view and...

The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe

1696 words - 7 pages The Raven By Edgar Allen PoeThe popular Gothic mystery short story ' The Raven' was written in the early 1940's and published in 1945 by a famous American author named Edgar Allen Poe. The story of the 'The Raven' tells of a weak weary narrator who is saddened by his lost love Lenore. He...

Insanity in The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

1321 words - 5 pages Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell Tale Heart" is a short story about how a murderer's conscience overtakes him and whether the narrator is insane or if he suffers from over acuteness of the senses. Poe suggests the narrator is insane by the narrator's claims of sanity, the narrator's actions bring out the narrative irony of the story, and the narrator is insane according to the definition of insanity as it applies to "The Tell Tale Heart...

Edgar Allen Poe

1234 words - 5 pages ). Edgar Allen Poe captures a lot of reader's attention with his mysterious poems and short stories. "Poe holds a troubled and unique place in our national literature. Which he has maintained a popular appeal, right into our own time, that few if any writers of his era can match. Poe is the only classic writer taught at school whose work teenagers have enjoyed without qualifications" (Allen 1). Everything that Poe wrote was not a success, but his big...

Edgar Allen Poe: Beware

1129 words - 5 pages just to feel the exhilarating emotion of fear. Every one of his works was well thought out. When he gets into character, he expresses his character's feelings and thoughts extremely well onto his paper. He understands exactly how an insane man would think, and that is another reason why people love to read his stories and poems. They are interested if that is really how someone with a mentally unstable mind would think. Poe's ideas on how to get rid of a body really disgust some people, but they still come back for more. Edgar Allen Poe will continue to be a favourite in the classroom and out of the classroom....

Hop Frog by Edgar Allen Poe

1630 words - 7 pages Hop Frog by Edgar Allen Poe Hop Frog is a short story written by Edgar Allen Poe during the nineteenth century. The story revolves around an overweight tyrant king with a love for weird, practical jokes. One of the other main characters in this short story is Hop Frog a deformed court jester who aims to seek revenge on the tyrant king and he does this using a very clever, cunning plan. The story of the deformed...

Edgar Allen Poe

1175 words - 5 pages of him (Poe 410). William, Edgar's older brother, had been living with the grandfather, David Poe, Sr., because at the time of his birth, his parents did not have the money to care for him. Edgar moved to Richmond, Virginia, with the Allans, where he slept in his own bedroom in the apartment above his stepfather's store. Edgar never got along with his foster father, argued with him, and hardly showed any affection. John Allan once even described...

EDGAR ALLEN POE SYMBOLLISM

1126 words - 5 pages through the symbols of Montresor's coat of arms, motto, and amontillado. In the third story, "The Black Cat,"� the narrator's state of mind is depicted through the symbols of the cat, its eye and white fur, and the wall.The poem "The Raven,"� by Edgar Allen Poe uses numerous symbols to help illustrate the physiological disintegration of the narrator's rational mind, due to the death of his wife Lenore. Poe...

Edgar Allen Poe

2051 words - 8 pages Edgar Allen PoeEdgar Allen Poe is considered one of the most brilliant and original writers of all time. He has written many short stories and poems that have been loved and criticized by people around the world. Where did Poe's talent come from? How has Poe captured the attention and manipulated the emotions of...

Edgar Allen Poe - 700 words

700 words - 3 pages Gina MolinaroSherry CislerCourse: ENG 356 Short Story18 December 2011Romanticism of PoeEdgar Allan Poe was a thrilling author of terror stories. There is no doubt that Poe was a shocking, but he is also a Romantic author. He is known for his dark demonstrative writing. He prefers magical and mysterious writing which gives us his relationship to romanticism. Romantic evidences are abundant in Poe's stories...

Similar Essays

Edgar Allen Poe, the writer of terrorsome short stories

2408 words - 10 pages face in a pitch-dark room when alone at night; or to awaken insemi-darkness and see an evil face gazing close into his own; and that thesefancies had so haunted him that he would often keep his head under the bed-covering until nearly suffocated'' (Peithman 149).Poe personally feared dark, small, and enclosed areas and was fascinated by it. Thus,many of Poe's short stories deal with being entombed alive. Poe...

The Main Theme in Edgar Allen Poe's Five Short Stories

1779 words - 7 pages of the house, including the basement. He tapped on one of the walls and they heard a loud scream. When they found the body, the missing cat was sitting on her head. The biggest symbol in this story is the alcohol. Edgar Allan Poe was a alcoholic for much of his life. As I continued reading the stories, I found important similarities between them. “The Cask of Amontillado” is a gothic story. Montressor, the narrator, starts off the story by...

The Perverse in the Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe

3382 words - 14 pages Edgar Allan Poe is perhaps the best-known American Romantic who worked in the Gothic mode. His stories explore the darker side of the Romantic imagination, dealing with the grotesque, the supernatural, and the horrifying. He defined the form of the American short story. As one might expect, Poe himself eschewed conventional morality, which he believed stems from man's attempts to dictate the purposes of God. Poe saw God more as process than...

Five Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe

1397 words - 6 pages names prisoner was sentenced to death by the Inquisition. Edgar Allan Poe opened up many new ways in literature for the following generations, without him we probably would not have detective stories and Gothic tales in the same form as we have today. Bibliography: 1. Bollobás Enikő. AZ AMERIKAI IRODALOM TÖRTÉNETE 2005 2. Buranelli, Vincent. Edgar Allan Poe 1961 3. Lauter, Paul. The Heath Anthology of American Literature Fifth Edition Volume B Early Nineteenth Century: 1800-1865 2006 4. Symons, Julian. THE TELL-TALE HEART The Life and Works of Edgar Allan Poe 1978 ...