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Narrative Style Of Edgar Allan Poe Essay Sample

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Narrative Style Of Edgar Allan Poe Essay Sample

Throughout Edgar Allan Poe’s lifetime and after death his literary and personal reputations were controversial. Nevertheless, today he is considered to be one of the most significant authors of his age. As a writer, Poe developed a theory for the art of the short story, declaring that each element of a story must be symbolically and thematically central to its overall effect.

Poe’s life was filled with several death experiences and countless heartaches, what led to his extraordinary style of writing and his ominous ideas. Writing in first person, Poe expressed himself using the narrators in his stories. Poe used this method to convey sheltered feelings about his life. Let us try to identify and discuss Edgar Allen Poe’s use of narration in his works.

Narration is an element in Poe’s short story style that appears to link all of his stories. He has a type of creativity, which lets the reader see into the mentality and psyche of the narrator. Many of the characters in Poe’s stories appear to be insane. The narrator often seems to have some type of psychological problems.

For example, In Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”, the story opens with a first person narrator, Montresor, speaking about the planning of Fortunato’s death. By the anger and pity that Montresor has for Fortunato, it seems that this was a recent incident. And just before very end we realize that the entire event occurred fifty years ago. In this story Poe demonstrates a style of writing using first person narrative. This shows Poe’s usage of the first person as if Poe were the one telling the story.

Poe’s story “The Fall of the House of Usher” intrigues the reader from the very beginning. The opening of the story is most likely where the literary elements come into play. By first stating the settings and surroundings and then creating a mood we obtain the general gist of what type of story we are about to engage in. Poe seems to stick with a consistent tone from beginning to end.

A change in mood or setting can change the intact story around. Key literary elements such as setting, mood, and plot were used by Poe to create a single effect of horror. By focusing on the beginning of the story many things are made evident. It is really recognizable to the reader, how much the setting and mood and plot all work together to form the single effect of horror. Without one of these elements the story would have been a lot weaker. Poe amazingly presents the readers with a vivid picture of the house. Furthermore, successfully providing us with a feeling of pure fear and suspense. By Poe’s use of location, colors, and emotions, a frightening story is made.

From the tedious beginning to the shocking conclusion, “The Fall of the House of Usher” implements every attribute needed to create a model narration. As in most Poe’s stories, the unnamed narrator experiences a horrific sight. This harrowing incident is the realization by himself and Roderick Usher that they have in fact buried Madeline Usher alive. The thought of this atrocity causes the narrator to flee from the house indefinitely. He does not know at the time that after his leaving the house will subsequently cave in. Almost every story written by Poe is written in this style. Although most stories take up no real plot or characterization, the final dreadful experience is typical.

In many of Poe’s works, setting is used to paint a dark and gloomy picture in our minds. I suppose that Poe did this intentionally. The purpose was to make a connection between darkness and death. For example, in the “Pit and the Pendulum”, the setting is originally pitch black. As the story unfolds, we see that the setting plays a significant role in how the narrator finds out the many ways he may die. Although he must rely on his senses alone to feel his surroundings, he knows that somewhere in this dark, gloomy room, that death awaits him.

Setting is also an important characteristic in “The Fall of the House of Usher”. The images Poe gives us such as how both the Usher family and the Usher mansion are crumbling from inside waiting to collapse, help us to tie the background with the narration. The whole setting in the story provides us with a feeling of melancholy. The Usher mansion appears vacant and barren. The same is true for the narrator. As we picture in our minds the extreme decay and decomposition, we can feel as though the life around it is also crumbling.

Another important theme in Poe’s stories is doubling, where the same thing happens twice or where characters closely imitate each other. An example of this is in “The Fall of the House of Usher”, when the narrator reads from a book and hears similar noises to those he reads about. Another example is in “The Purloined Letter”, when Auguste Dupin replaces the thief’s letter just as the thief did when first he stole it.

Nevertheless, Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories have many more elements along with his creative use of narration and setting. But these are characteristics, which attracting the most attention. Poe has a way of writing in which he does not have to reveal too much, or paint a pretty picture for the reader in order to draw his attention. There is also a noticeable distinction between right and wrong in Poe’s stories. Slippery characters tend to come to a bad end. This lets the reader accept these endings as a triumph of good over evil.

Poe’s life really had immense impact on his writing and the way he expressed this and integrated those feelings into his stories. Poe utilized the ghastly actions that transpired in his life as a basis for his stories, which set the eerie, hostile and gory mood of the tales. Quotes, in where Poe shared most, each had connections to life, and he clearly avowed his feelings through the various indications and hints which were hidden inside the contents of his story; which clearly shows that he did express himself through his writing.

In conclusion, while researching Edgar Allan Poe more in depth, I have obtained a much greater respect for a slightly different perspective of his stories. Although it is still obvious to me that narrative style and setting have a great deal in development of Poe’s short stories, I also realize now that we can’t overlap and intertwine with other aspects of the story, making them equally as important.

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