compare two short stories of Poe : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I am doing a paper and have to compare and contrast two or more of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories. Which stories do you recommend I research.

-- Anonymous, October 25, 2000


Dear Wesley,

I found your question particularly interesting because Edgar Allan Poe was such a diverse author that it is a very difficult choice to make when it comes down to selecting two specific tales to write on:

I think that, in answer to your question, the best possible advice that I could give you would be to select two tales which you find stimulating: were it up to me to nominate two particular tales, I would find it quite difficult.

Perhaps I would choose "The Masque of the 'Red Death'" and contrast it with a tale like "King Pest" if I were focusing upon different treatments of death, for instance. Or, if one were going for a reading involving the identification of similarities, one could do worse that to consider "The Facts in the case of M. Valdemar" together with "Mesmeric Revelation" regarding the subject of mesmerism/hypnotism in correlation with ideas of death and afterlife. Similarly, one could embark upon a study of Poe's treatment of the detective tale by examining two tales like "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "The Mystery of Marie Roget". And so on, and so forth...

In conclusion, I believe that the best way for you to choose is quite simply to establish in your mind a topic or subject that mentally stimulates you, and then find two tales where this features. Alternatively, you could reverse the process: find two tales which you really like, and then develop a subject which is common to both, or one which will enable you to incorporate both tales into your argument.

I hope that you find this type of methodology helpful to you, even though it is not exactly what you asked for. I maintain with the position that for me to tell you which tales to examine would prove to be a rather irrelevent exercise, seeing as I am not going to be the one to write about them: this is your assignment so you must be the one who makes the final decision on what you wish to write about.

Having said all this, I wish you every success with this, and if you have any queries or ideas you would like to discuss with me, please feel free to contact me on this:

Yours sincerely,

Pragmatic Poe

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ