I need help with a thesis paper on Anabel Lee

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I am doing a thesis paper for and Accelarated English class and could use some help with the peom Anabel Lee. Just how you interpret it so i could get some other point of views! Thanx!

-- Anonymous, August 22, 2001


Can you scroll through other entries on this site that have covered this same topic. I would hate to keep repeating the same thing. Would hate worse unknowingly contradict myself.

A developing insight I had concerned the slight misdirection given by Poe himself. In "The Philosophy of Composition" essay he dotes on the greaest theme being the death of a beautiful young woman. Yet like no other poet who had treated this theme, in real treatment there is distance, sometimes a repulsion or fear by the real central figure- the narrator-lover-poet himself. As with Dante, the peculiar distance leaves him free to concentrate on the spiritual experience of unrequited love, but he does this in an odd way- tied to, haunted by, almost wishing it were possible to be free of the obsessive trap he so willingly entered- so defiantly acclaims.

Now in Annabel Lee his true love, Virginia, has truly died. This tears apart completely the satisfaction of the Beatrice mode. At the same time it falls right at the stark border(lying beside the tomb to be exact)of the divide- for all its defiance- whereas in the older tale "The Assignation" an artful double suicide at a distance was his bold artistic statement to his real life loss of Ellen Royster to another man. The florid Italian setting, the lush imagery in the poem in that story too.

In other words the hysterical romantic pendulum comes to rest beside the shore between life and death, the living and his beloved dead, his past happiness. As in the shocking apex of many of his tales of horror, the climax seems to prolong itself and echo his final misery. Even as he wrote that poem he was desperately trying to build a new life and move on. Ambivalence? Anguish? He even tried to disavow the nature of the poem by passing off Annabel Lee as inspired by one of his lastly courted ladies.

-- Anonymous, August 23, 2001

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