The Sphinx, i need help about that story : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I was wondering if anyone new what is the atmosphere and the symbolism of that story, i would be very grateful to whoever answers, thanks!

-- Anonymous, May 06, 2002


Actually this story is a teaser. The narrator is a nervous sort, distraught about the cholera even as they relax in a bucolic refuge. Fears still assail him. His friend, a Dupin type, is a cool rationalist freed from this state. As usual, the Dupin type prevails.

The title of the story clues you in that this will be a riddle- not a horror story as the narrator constantly leads you to believe. His monster is exposed as a bug, a crashing humiliation, especially for any reader who relied too much on the judgment of the excitable narrator.

Symbolism: Sphinx: the Egyptian monster that demanded an answer to his riddle- or else. Irony: like Oedipus and Tiresias the tables of perception are reversed. "Premature Burial" is an even more ornate teaser with the comic anticlimax of reality making a fool out of the narrator too enrapt in love of fantastic lore.

-- Anonymous, May 06, 2002

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