Writings by Edgar Allan Poe Insight

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Dezzie B. Ligon III 10/30/12 English 5 Mr. Rabot Without Recourse

Thesis: The act of death is that of many intricate parts. It is destined, at times a mystery that is sought, frequently sudden and ill accepted, and recurrently caused by vengeance lacking true justice. Title: “Conqueror Worm”

In life lies destiny, in destiny lies death. The poem “Conqueror Worm” by Edgar Allan Poe exemplifies this fact by portraying man as a tragedy and a worm as the hero. The poem is set as a play with a plot telling of sin, madness, and horror. The angels are the audience members, man is shown as mimes that fly around as mere puppets, and the writhing Conqueror Worm surfaces at the climax of the play and devours said mimes. After the curtain’s fall the angels then confirm “that the play is the tragedy “Man”, and its hero the Conqueror Worm.” The theme of this poem is conveyed to the reader in the quote “The mimes become its food”. The meaning of this is that in the end, all of man is destined to die and become worm food. His use of diction in the choosing of the word “become” instead of a word such as “are” tells the reader that man is not born as worm food, but as destiny catches up they will inevitably succumb to such a fate. Additionally, although the Conqueror Worm is the collection of all worms that ultimately devour man’s bodies, it is also the embodiment of death itself. Surprisingly, Poe uses this embodiment of death as the protagonist of the story. This then creates the conflict of Man vs. Death, or more simply Character vs. Nature. Man is the Character while Death is Nature. Sadly, in such a conflict Nature always prevails. This conflict thus gives more support to the idea that death is but the destiny of man. This ending destiny is also shown in the quote “Out-out are the light-out all!” in which after the arrival of the writhing worm nothing but darkness remains. Man’s mortality will always plague itself because there is only one thing man is meant to do. That is the everlasting fate of becoming nothing but worm food.

Title: “Ms. Found in a Bottle”
In death lies mystery, in mystery lies those who seek answers. The short story “Ms. Found in a Bottle” by Edgar Allan Poe illustrates this idea through the intricate retelling of the final moments of a man’s life. The story is told through first person view by an unnamed narrator. The narrator originally sets sail from Java on a ship headed to the Sunda Islands; however the trip is ruined by a storm that kills all crew members except for him and an old swede. Though they are alive, there ship is swept south by a whirlpool for 5 days before a black ships appears and collides with his ship. The narrator is thus thrown onto the new ship where he comes into contact with very ancient looking crew members who do not acknowledge his presence. Eventually he overcomes his despair and eagerly awaits the discovery of the most southern parts of the world. Sadly, before reaching their final destination the ice parts revealing a giant whirlpool that sinks the very large black ship. The underlying theme of the story is conveyed in the quote “I presume, utterly impossible; yet a curiosity to penetrate the mysteries of these awful regions, predominates even over my despair” in which the narrator tells the reader that his yearning for answers to the mysteries of the unchartered region stands above his actual fear of death. However, the unexplored region isn’t actually that of the south. The south is just an embodiment of the realm of the dead and the curiosity the narrator feels is for the mystery of the inevitable death. The whirlpool that takes him and the ancient crew mates to such a realm is a symbol used by Poe to depict a doorway to an unknown place....
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