Do you have a summary of Ms. In A Bottle? : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

Do you have a brief summary of Ms.In A Bottle?

-- Anonymous, October 24, 2000


Dear Amber,

I shall try to provide you with a succinct overview of Edgar Allan Poe's "MS. Found in a Bottle":

The tale, narrated in first person, charts the experiences of a passanger aboard a doomed ship. Some critics have argued that the form is like that of a letter, encouraging the categorization of epistolary tale. However, I find that it more closely resembles a journal (or a ship's log, to place it in its nautical context).

Very briefly, the ship sets sail and soon encounters a violent storm which dispatches almost the entire crew of the ship to their watery graves, leaving the narrator and a Swede the sole survivors.

This latter character subsequently perishes when the ship finally sinks, with the narrator escaping by clambering aboard a ghost-ship which materialises mysteriously. Several entries follow, describing the narrator's experience aboard the ghost-ship, his efforts to hide from the ghostly crew, and so forth. The tale finishes with the horrific realization that the ship is being gradually sucked into a vortex or a whirpool.

Hope this is enough. Please excuse the lack of specific detail, but I am working pretty much from memory regarding this summary.

Yours sincerely,

Pragmatic Poe

P.S.: You may wish to compare this tale with Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", which is a long poem bearing several thematic similarities to Poe's tale (supernatural activities, ghostly crews, a sense of impending peril, spirits, etc.).

-- Anonymous, October 25, 2000

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