Morella (I have to write a eulogy!) : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

Please help me! I have to write a eulogy for one of the characters in Poe's short story, "Morella". I don't completely understand this piece of literature, and I am finding it difficult to write the eulogy. What character would you suggest I write the eulogy for? And what should I say about the character? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

-- Anonymous, November 01, 2003


"TYhe days have never been when thou couldst love me- but her whomin life thou didst abhor, in death thou shalt adore."

The story begins with the narrator spending a lot of time talking about his "attachment" to Morella then proceeding to detach his inexplicable relationship from any erotic or philosophic then any personal tie(as her disease repels him further). We assume she begins to as gradually realize this shallowness and detachment even as we get the strong influence of her mystical bent. As with more "loving" widowers the detached narrator is haunted, beset by guilt, still wholly bound to his wife.

The final kiss upon her brow reminds one ofthe start of the poem "A Dream within a Dream"- a tempting connection. She in a way curses him with unending sorrow despite the child she lives him. He loves the child more and falls completely this time. His daughter is unnamed as he senses more and more she is the reincarnation of Morella. At her belated Baptism he gives her that name and she acknowleges this horifically and dies. Laying her into the tomb he finds(laughing bitterly) that the first body of Morella is gone.

Check out the two different versions at The first is more extreme and rough. He shrieks the name "Morella" into the priest's ears for example. In the first is included a Catholic style Hymn to Mary which opens the first Morella's speech recognizing her death is approaching. Check out that poem.

The eulogy should be for the two in one Morella. The frist was invcompletely loved and mourned. The second set a horrendous seal of correction so extreme it consumed the rest of his life. In Poe's poem "Paean" or "Lenore" he uses an unconventional type of eulogy. Do not mourn but rejoice and the ones left behind are those to be sorrowful for. In most of Poe's work in fact it is the state of the mourner, the poet narrator which is THE focus. The second Morella seems to exist for no other reason than to complete the insufficient love of the narrator, but is a curse as well. Her victory over death is in this case a victory over him, over weakness and failure in life. Again the deceased bbecomes ideal or triumphant while ironically stripping the worshipper or the obsessed from any share in happiness of the bond now that he has taken all that he can in life.

What to mourn or remember? What to praise? The ineffable he never fully accepted that yet proved the most powerful. The share of earthly happiness he did have without full appreciation or selflessness. The visible affirmation of her soul in the destruction of their first bond in the daughter.

This is kind of tough, even to enter into the mind of the narrator. The eulogy has to include the duality, the two bonds, the strange minds of both husband and wife. Perhaps taking the Marian Hymn(also at and substituting things in for the narrator's situation might be a start except that Poe deleted the poem because it did not seem to fit as well. The Catholic angle was not as strong anyway as the German metaphysical mysticism which represented Morella's spirit. A variation on "Lenore" which Poe also worked over with great dissatisfaction might be good. In fact, this whole approach to a key Poe theme is about disatisfaction yet obsession.

A eulogy by the reader for the narrator would be difficult to say the least.

-- Anonymous, November 01, 2003

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