How did Edgar Allan Poe start and end his stories? And about his mystery and horror stories.greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread
I am having a problem with my report. I need to know about Edgar Allan Poe's beginning and endings of his stories. I also need to know about his horror and mystery stories
-- Anonymous, March 18, 2003
the begginings start out good, but he has trouble with endings, so the endings tend to suck, if you had botherd to read eurika you would know why!!
-- Anonymous, March 18, 2003
Poe starts out with thematic references(quotes), discourse and/or immediate introduction of main character(or narrator if that is not the same) in order to immediately focus the reader. Perspective, theme, mood and the character of the narrator set the tone for the whole story even foreshawing what is to come. The ends are often doubled. A climax of the plot action with an extra denouement. "The Tell-Tale heart" ends with he murder, but then the dead man "returns in a heartbeat and gets him to confess. The characteristic of the final ending is usually confessional, submissive to the overwhelming experience(whether the hero escapes or not. Some double endings are underwhelming and out of balance like "The Pit and the Pendulum"> The story hits a dead end though the hero triumphs by being sane enough to choose his death. The he is rescued as matter of factly as he was captured in the first place. But then he is a plain soldier, not the typical crazed romantic hero of other stories. "The Maelstrom" is another plain man story coping with sanity and puzzle solving. He too wins by outlasting the natural phenomenon. The open abyss can lead to rebirth, the closed tomb box of claustrophobic Poe architecture is usually a deadly trap.
The perspective of narration begins with reflection BACK on an extraodinary event. It ends with a duality: fascination/horror, escape/trap, crime/punishment at the point where nothing more is to be added even though the character might be awaiting execution(The Black Cat) or the fulfillment of the event("Ligeia"). In other words the "story" encompasses that all important peak experience of the narrator (usually)and nothing more.
Poe varies the point of view and the balance and the intensity of every element though structurally they all do seem neatly similar at times. Variations on a theme. List the narrators, the quotes and thematic discourses, the introduction of plot and character or other samples outside the story. Foreshaowing and setting the mood and rationale or a relentlessly predetermined(it already happened to the narrator!) plot. The end is less a twist than the Imp of the perverse or conscience getting the last word even in devastating defeat. In "Usher" the narrator slowly rides up to the decaying, in stasis mansion. At the end he is scambling out barely in time as the mansion collapses. Foreboding of horror becomes the awesome fulfillment. In this variation of course the narrator has to survive to tell about the complete catastrophe of Usher. In this type especially more doubling, narrative within narrative is all intimately and symbolically connected.
-- Anonymous, March 19, 2003