response to The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I just read The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket and I'm getting ready to write a response paper but I am completely stuck. I was thinking of either writing about the ambiguity of the ending or about the use of themes of Romanticism. Any ideas or thoughts would really help me out. Thanks!

-- Anonymous, January 24, 2003


There seems to have a possibility some kind of sequel, namely the missing chapters supposedly lost when the mysterious Mr. Pym died in a fire. Perhaps another character such as Peters could also finish it. Poe was awaiting more discoveries about the polar regions from Reynolds or the Wilkes South Seas expedition. Jermiah Reynolds own adventures closely paralleled some of the events of the novel among the savages. The Journal of Junius Rodman was also a derived fictionalization of western explorations. Wilkes however did not go into Antarctica. There was encouragement for the Hollow Earth or polar hole theory Poe had used earlier(Ms. Found in a Bottle). Also the British publication earned no money for Poe and those editors had hatcheted Poe's mysterious ending on their own. Poe did present it somewhat in the hoax genre which added to disappointment after the first interest. After so much time in writing this his finances were in dire straights with little to show for it.

Rime of the Ancient Mariner- Coleridge, Frankenstein, Moby Dick are on this strange sea tale trajectory. Moby Dick seems to steal from Poe or else it ignores Pym to go once more directly to Reynolds whom Melville doescredit. The hero is the Byronic hero once more, in search of emotional experiences in adventures, attracted to shock disorientation and heightened sense of melancholy and horror. The settings and adventures while imbued with realism and wholesale liftings from exploration reports and science, are extreme(model for Jules Verne) and focus on isolation and horror in stark often brutal depictions.

-- Anonymous, January 24, 2003

I had to chop out half of my response due to length. If you would like more info please e-mail me.

-- Anonymous, January 24, 2003

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