why narrative

greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

why did poe usually have a narrator in his stories how did it add to the teror

-- Anonymous, October 24, 2003


It is how Poe centers the self in his stories. Little at all described, often nameless, characters are mere devices, voices weaving spells, intent on vagueries for which double and multiple meanings(deceits, subconscious revelation,self deceits)create a subltel trap for the involved reader to experience what the story is all about.

What each and every strong poem or tale of Poe is all about is the intense emotional experience, thrill of the extraordinary and the will, the flash of reason and art, which is important to the narrator. narration keepsit subtle, centered, pared down from all distractions and important other facets(plot, others, message, etc.) Even his intimidating quotes and philosophy(as Rod Serling was wont to pontificate) are truly there to benefit this, focus, shade and move it along. Something that we who think we are objective observers of plot character and action mentally miss. And if you miss the hand that catches you from behind, of course that unknown both jolts and endures as it was meant to.

Many other stories show this :The Black Cat" the explanatory "The Imp of the Perverse", the satirical "The Sphinx" and the faux documentary of "The Premature Burial" where the narrator ends by scaring himself silly like some joking reporter too close to the story.

-- Anonymous, October 24, 2003

Moderation questions? read the FAQ