The Eerie and Bizarre of Poe

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart, Short story Pages: 7 (2339 words) Published: October 14, 2014
Marvin Garantoza
Liz Smith
English 1B
26 September 2014
The Eerie and Bizarre of Poe
Through all the deaths and fatality of his stories, Edgar Allan Poe is a man of stories that are eerie and bizzare. Poe is best known for his dark and gothic fiction where it seemed very uncomfortable to read but yet pleasing to the reader. His themes in his stories would deal with death that would include physical signs, effects of decomposition, and premature burial. In the book Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing by Edgar V. Roberts, Poe's short stories are written. They are “The Cask of Amontillado”, “The Fall of the House of Usher”, The Masque of the Red Death”, The Black Cat, and “The Tell-Tale Heart”. Each of these stories have their way of representing Poe's love for writing dark and gothic based themes. In “The Cask of Amontillado”, Poe writes about a guy named Montresor who's been insulted by a another guy named Fortunato and seeks revenge. Montresor leaves Fortunato in a small crypt and lets him rot and die. “The Fall of the House of Usher” tells a story about an unnamed narrator and two residents of the house named Roderick and Madeline. Madeline kills Roderick and then the house crumbles down as the narrator escapes. In “The Masque of the Red Death”, a disease known as the Red Death is spreading and a wealthy man named Prospero decides to throw a huge party to keep the disease away. Turns out, everyone at the party and Prospero himself dies from the disease. “The Black Cat” tells a story about an unnamed narrator who gets drunk very often and kills his pet black cat. He then owns another black cat and then deicides to kill it. His wife defends the cat and then she ends up getting killed instead. In “The Tell-Tale heart”, an unnamed narrator would stalk an old man every night at his house and ends up killing him. In an article by Jennifer Bouchard, “Literary Contexts in Short Stories: Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Tell Tale Heart' “, she describes the reason why the narrator kills the old man. Judging from all these quick summaries of the stories, Poe was a very dark and gothic writer. He had the power to make things sound uncomfortable and yet kept his stories very interesting. Edgar Allan Poe writes eerie and bizarre scenes in his short stories that seems unreal to readers.

In the short story “The Cask of Amontillado”, a scene that Poe wrote that was bizarre was when the narrator leaves a man to die in the catacombs. The narrator, Montresor, baits Fortunato, the guy who insulted him, to the underground in search of the Amontillado. This scheme was a trick from the beginning and Montresor wants revenge on Fortunato for insulting him. In the short story, Poe writes how Montresor chains up Fortunato to the stone wall. Poe writes in his story:

In its surface were two iron staples, distant from each other about two, horizontally. From one these depended a short chain, from the other a padlock. Throwing the links about his waist, it was but the work of a few seconds to secure it. He was too much astounded to resist. Withdrawing the key I stepped back from the recess (Poe 252). Fortunato is now stapled to his grave and he can't do anything about it. He is just left there to rot and die. The bizarre thing about this scene in the story that Poe wrote is how dramatic a person can be when they are insulted. It is perfectly normal if someone gets upset when being physically or emotionally hurt and may seek revenge. Unexpectedly, Montresor went to the extreme and decides to take Fortunato to the underground and implement his sick plan for revenge. Off of being insulted, for that very reason, Fortunato must suffer and die of possibly thirst and starvation in the catacombs just because of some putdowns on Montresor. Anybody that is a normal human being wouldn't go as far Montresor's actions when being taunted by another. All in all, “The Cask of the Amontillado” shows Poe's use of bizarre scenes in this short...


Cited: Bouchard, Jennifer. "Literary Contexts In Short Stories: Edgar Allan Poe 's "The Tell Tale Heart." Literary Contexts In Short Stories: Edgar Allen Poe 's 'The Tell Tale Heart ' (2008): 1. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 26 Sept. 2014.
Giordano, Robert. "Edgar Allan Poe, Short Stories, Tales, and Poems."Poestories. Design215, 23 Oct. 2013. Web. 26 Sept. 2014.
Roberts, Edgar V., and Henry E. Jacobs. Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986. Print.
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