Name: Claire Keely
Module:Critical Practice 1
Tutor: D C
Date: 31 October 2011
There are a number of themes which Poe repeats from story to story (for example, the doppelganger, the premature burial, the death of a woman). With reference to at least two stories by Poe, identify such a motif and explicate its development in these texts; Throughout Edgar Allan Poe’s story telling the idea and fascination surrounding death, mortality, extreme love, insanity and revenge are key aspects of the writers work. Poe’s enchantment with the idea of death and violence is clearly visible through the foremost body of his writing. Poe’s use of the doppelganger in his stories makes it obvious to us as readers, the internal anguish, mental instability and struggle faced by a large number of the characters in his work, and perhaps also the writer himself. As readers, we are aware of the torment and suffering faced by Poe during his period of time as a writer, and in my opinion Poe uses the idea of the doppelganger to psychologically project upon his readers the writer’s own emotions. A doppelganger is similar to a double of one’s self, quite like an apparitional twin or counterpart to another living person. In Poe's works which involve the idea of the doppelganger, the protagonist is seen to identify closely with the antagonist, and vice versa such as in the short story ; ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’. Poe’s ‘The fall of the House of Usher’, in my opinion is a story in which the writer uses the idea of the doppelganger to portray the complicated and somewhat mysterious relationship between the pair of siblings central to our plot, Lady Madeline and Roderick Usher. The story tells the tale of the sibling’s illnesses be it both mentally and physically and the vague relationship between the two. It can be argued that Madeline, may be interpreted as Roderick’s ghostly counterpart, and Madeline herself may not be in existence at all, being only a mere figment of...
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