The Bells and The Haunted Palacegreenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread
the haunted palace and the bells: how can these be similar of different and how do they reflect poes life and writing style?
-- Anonymous, April 18, 2001
A quick answer for what it's worth. Different story and styles, but the similariites at root are striking. Progression of time from beauty and glory to disaster and horror in both by stanzas. The "golden" age youth, is full of light(stars and moon- The Bells) or a wonderful air(that moves the banners of the palace, with Echoes songs going through the doors-"The Haunted Palace". Then a fire, discordant bells or evil things in robes of sorrow assail Thought. The hideous throng seen in the dread windows(the eyes of the soul)is like the people in the steeple, the Ghouls. Both are mirthlessly horribly merry. Now Usher recites the poem as if talking of his inner decay and energetic madness. He paints, plays string music, but now all is dead and tinged with melancholy and horror. The same progression is evidenced in the Bells, though less personally attached to an individual or the inner workings of the mind. The bells is a mturer work in that it boldly uses sound, tolling, resounding, repeating to great effect in each of the stages. The Usher poem reflects more traditional lyrics and visual imagery. The ending is dramatically similar "and laugh- but smile no more" "his merry bosom swells...and he dances and he yells...keeping time,time,time...to the moaning and the groaning of the bells." The Bells even more chillingly sounds like the poet, trapped in the hell of his devices, cursed with churning out his melancholy verse. In other words, not a palace or bells but the poet's Thought and the poet's verse in the happy dead past and the present doom. Both immensely strong on music and sound conveying the moods' transitions. What is interesting is that they were written far apart THP in 1839 after a very tough period, and TB in 1848 after Virginia's death.
-- Anonymous, May 04, 2001
Oh, and in the story Usher and the narrator comment on the Haunted Palace comparing the mutual state of the House and man, the shell of the past haunted by madness and decay, the state of the mind, the mind of the House, the sentience of inanimate things.
-- Anonymous, May 05, 2001