I can“t find anything about The Purloined Letter... Many questions! :-)

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How does Poe lead the reader to the climax of the two stories, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask Of Amontillado? How does he create suspense?

Which typical elements of a detective story can be found in "The Purloined Letter"? Which role does analytical ability/thinking play?

Discuss the changes of mood of the first person narrator in "The Raven" !

Many questions, I know, I hope you can help me to answer at least one of them! Thanx so much!

-- Anonymous, June 10, 2002


Response to I canĀ“t find anything about The Purloined Letter... Many questions! :-)

The suspense in the two murder stories is built through the methodical detail and anxiety of the narrator, and the madly diabolical cleverness taken through each step against the unsuspecting victim. Then there is the double climax of The Tell Tale Heart where the conscious resurrects the anxiety to haunt and btray the madman. In Amontillado, the murderer checks in on his victim before piutting in the last bricks, every drawn out bit of the process demonstarting the nearly total cold-bloodedness of the act. As with the other stories, there is an intense shrinking and limiting of the focus, the setting. A darkening, so that only a pinpoint of light remains upon the object of hatred. Montresor winds down into the dank, luminescent caverns. The Tell Tale Heart advances in total darkness with only a sliver of lantern light on the dead eye.

Of course sound also plays a similar role in building up in the silence, the heartbeart(TTH), the chipper ironic dialogue between Montresor and Fortunato.

The Purloined Letter((a great article at www.eapoe.org in Poe Studies.) is almost buried in an exposition of the METHOD, the curious genius of combining the poetic and analytic mind just as the detective combines HIS mind with the criminal's. Besides that element of the mystery story(as defined first by Poe) we have the genius private detective, the bungling police inspector and all their fruitless predictable methods, we have the invention of a classic criminal strategem(hiding the goods in plain sight) and the typical resolution where the letter is retrieved then the puzzle explained- and the fee collected. Very similar again to Sherlock Holmes.

The changes of mood in "The Raven" are escalating like any of his gothic stories. Only this time the intimate and favored poetic theme of Poe is at the heart of things. While trying to abstractly cope with his feelings of melancholy for Lenore while looking for some literary expression the poet is likewise consoling himself for her placement as a precursor of hope and happiness in heaven. So he can work out his feelings for some really good literary work in the assurance she is so enthroned in his consciousness, albeit sadly physically separate. But in hops the black bird.The narrator, bemused seizes upon this timely harbinger that lets the night into his neat room for his musing dialogue that also begins to let the despair and doubt of real grief through. The art becomes too real in his own sprung trap and suddenly alltoo real this fancy compared to his controlled mood earlier. Finally through repetition worse than silence, outhinking his easy easy answers, the narrator is sunk under the unmoving blanket of oppressive, unrelieved despiar. Quite as much a work of genius as the versification and poetic structure.

The bust of palace and other references show the symbolic bird of preference would have been the Owl(Athena's bird) but that had been done already and that bird could not speak.

-- Anonymous, June 10, 2002

Response to I canĀ“t find anything about The Purloined Letter... Many questions! :-)

Bust of Pallas! Argh! This is what comes from working the Plutonian shift. Sorry.

-- Anonymous, June 10, 2002

Response to I canĀ“t find anything about The Purloined Letter... Many questions! :-)

THANX SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)

-- Anonymous, June 16, 2002

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