The Dark Writings of Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe is regarded as one of the most famous writers of all time. He is known for his sinister and horrific tales and his seemingly pessimistic view on life. This overwhelming theme is rarely questioned by other writers and fans alike because of his personal tragedies; it is only fitting that a man as disturbed as Poe would write such troubled stories. It is common knowledge to most that Poe had a heartrending life; he lost his biological mother, adoptive mother, and wife all before he went to college. Poe used the tragic premature endings of his family members as inspiration to write his trademark literature, lengthy eloquent works revolving around fatality. It is atypical for one of his stories to not mention death in one way or another. In each of his stories, Poe talks about death in a different way. In two of his most famous works, “The Tell-Tale Heat” and “The Pit and Pendulum”, both of the main characters act differently towards death. By adding variety to his characters’ reactions, Poe shows the reader that while death is universal, the way each person deals with it is unique. However, the repetitive theme of death makes Poe appear as a single-minded writer to many of his readers, only able to focus on the negative aspects of life. However, if one looks more closely at “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “the Pit and Pendulum” one sees otherwise; while both clearly express the impending nature of death through different symbols and imagery, both subtly show that even when life is filled with darkness, there is always light, showing that while Poe was a dark and troubled man, he was always hopeful something positive was going to occur. People have completely different opinions about Poe’s writing style, their opinions ran... ... middle of paper ... ...d” the lantern in such a way that “that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye” (Poe, 303). On the eighth night, the ray of light and the eye “meet”. The narrator uses the light as protection from the eye; the use of the lantern as a shield from death, suggests how even in the darkest of situations one can always find light. In “The Pit and the Pendulum,” the author maintains an unruffled mood throughout, showing he has a positive outlook. At the end, the narrator is rescued from the prison by General Lasalle and escapes his execution. This happy ending is infrequent for Poe, but shows that miracles in life are feasible, and not atypical. Works Cited http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3692/is_199511/ai_n8721653/ http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/poestories/section7.rhtml http://www.shmoop.com/tell-tale-heart/symbolism-imagery.html Edgar Allan Poe
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