The most prominent likeness of Poe’s stories is the unnamed narrator. There are only a few of his works that he actually names the speaker: “The Cask of Amontillado”, “Berenice”, and “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” are some examples. Almost all of the others fail to name him or her who is telling the story. In the twisted tale “William Wilson”, the narrator explains that the reason for not saying his name is because, “The fair page now lying before me need not be sullied with my real appellation” (Poe par. 1), but other than this one, Poe does not usually give a reason behind this characteristic. This is not the only commonality that a reader encounters at the beginning of Poe’s chilling fictions.
It is usual to see a confession of the narrator’s mindset at the start of these short stories. You can find this sort of an intro in “Manuscript Found in a Bottle” and “The Black Cat”. One of his works begins, “Very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses -- not destroyed -- not dulled them” (Poe “A Tell-Tale Heart” par. 1). In “A Tell-Tale Heart”, the reason he is proclaiming his sanity is because he has just killed a man, ...
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Poe, Edgar A. "The Masque of the Red Death." Poestories. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Poe, Edgar A. "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." Poestories. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Poe, Edgar A. "The Pit and the Pendulum." Poestories. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Poe, Edgar A. "The Tell-Tale Heart." Poestories. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Poe, Edgar A. "William Wilson." Poestories. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Stevenson, Robert Louis. "Literature: 'The Works of Edgar Allan Poe'." The Academy 7.139 (2 Jan. 1879): 1-2. Rpt. in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Laurie Lanzen Harris. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale Research, 1981. Literature Resource Center. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.
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