premature burial theme in "narrative of a. gordon pym' : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I need information regarding the theme of premature burial in Poe's "narrative of A. gordon pym OR information on color symbolism in the story thanks!

-- Anonymous, August 23, 2001


The novel goes on through several near death experiences. Pym is almost dead in a sea accident, then nearly suffcates stowed away on board the Grampus, then is nearly buried alive in a landlside caused by the evil natives who massacred the crew of the Jane Guy. In describing his melancholy bent for such "romantic" experiences early on- as do many other moody POe narrators(eg. Ms. Found in a Bottle)early on the first chapter, Pym prepares us for this series of adventures where he gets more than he bargained for, but exactly what he fancied. He is constantly passing out after each shock, then "resurrected". It gets to be a picaresque habit like in some of the early English novels of the century before him. Often his companion(s) think him dead. Perhaps he does to. on he goes to greater danger until that final unresolved enigmatic shock before the precipice of descent into the vast abyss at the South Pole- where the narrative itself is prematurely buried.

Color symbolism seems dominantly nocturnal and dark, but I take it this involves the white-black antithesis towards the polar regions. You can go on forever about that, even wonder why Melville in his encyclopedic list of sources neglects to mention Pym's influence on Moby Dick, Ishmael, Queequeg(Peters), the mutiny, capsizing, the South Seas, etc. The Egyptian Two Nile culture, the racist presumption(rampant among most American white). All of this as in Melville is based on real South Seas culture and historical research of the times. The horror of white, the color of death, etc. etc. I myself wrote an ending to this novel building on the chapters Poe mentions were lost in the fictional fire that kills Pym back in America. Lots of interesting things you learn while trying things like that.

-- Anonymous, August 23, 2001

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