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In the short story "Elenora" how is the story in a sense confining? and why would story be an example of Romanticism? i really want to know your answer..

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2001


The first few paragraphs give the Romantic argument, the advanced view of the overstimulated passions and intellect bordering on madness, dreams and the supernatural but progressive reason nonetheless. Classic Byron or Shelley, mostly in tune with Coleridge. The story is more like a parable of Poe's actual family life, the extremely closed circle of Virginia, Muddy and himself. The version I usually read is from 1850. It is astonishing to learn this was written in 1841 before Virginia's sickness even began! Maybe someone can help me with this even though this lost love theme goes back long before story is confining since nothing goes anywhere in plot, more like a dream snapshot in a mental album that haunts the faithless remarriage of the narrator to Ermengarde after his rending deathbed pledge to Eleonora. Then, of course the salvific, dutiful forgiveness of Eleonora to remove the curse, a typical Poe hope to resolve his ghosts- which usually is only temporary and full of self-pitying enthusiasm. That is particularly what makes this story seem a personal parable of self-healing since he is not so kind to the despairing narrators of other tales and poems. The pain and the remembered truth of lost beauty seems too close here. Then remembering the author's entreaty to distrust his relaying of present events(the vision of Eleonora giving him her blessing)as if to limit the madness the reader might credit him with. Another sign of how personal this story is lest anyone add this vision fiction to the real family tableau. Very conflicted rationalizations, desperate to knit an idealized happy memory to a supernatural intervention which would give him a new life altogether with Ermengarde- and lift his self-imposed curse.

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2001

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