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I have to write a paper on the theme and irony on Poe's short stories i would just like someone to give me some input about it or tell me websites i could visit to help me.

-- Anonymous, November 16, 2004


www.eapoe.org with links to Poe Studies, the www.poedecoder.com website and others.

Your question is a little confusing. "the theme and irony" do you mean the theme OF irony- which isn't really a theme but a device?

Irony abounds and makes some of the horor tales downright tongue in cheek, although too dark a hunor to appreciate. "hop frog" is almost a catalogue of satirical devices used with a bitterly heavy hand, setting on its head much of Poe's earlier work. Lots of overt irony revelled in by the vengeful dwarf, but the underlying irony is almost a reversal of Poe's prior Gothic works. The dwarf is not as physically heroic or noermal as most Poe protagonists. He esapes by his own wits while wreaking public venegeance unlike the Pit and Pendulum hero or the cask of Amonitllado villain(trapped as caretaker of a buried secret. For once the girl does not die though she is attacked and marked with red wine(Masque of the Red Death). Lots and lots of symbolism and throwbacks to other Poe tales used in an ironic reversal of fortune. Bitter too since this late tale cannot rescue Poe's own doomed wife. Other tales include the noise(The Tell Tale Heart) of gnashing teeth, the reverse mystery of the murder with ape costumes(Murder on the Rue Morgue) etc.

Supreme irony rules in the charracter duality itslef. "The Imp of the Perverse" both presents and represents the contrary behavior of the man who destoys himself by a boastful confession, a natural product of the excitement of the overwhelming emotional experience. In other tales flawed characters are doomed by their very efforts to defeat nature, death or fate. Superior thinkers and steady characters still need to be lucky or rescued(Descent into the Maelstrom, The Pit and the Pendulum). Irony maintains and defeats the balance of the two sided character. "William Wilson"-fatal war with his own split personality or doppleganger turns violently inward upon their very joint existence.

-- Anonymous, November 16, 2004

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