A Synopsis of Edgar Allen Poe's Short Story, A Descent into the Maelstrom

Topics: Ocean, English-language films, Weather Pages: 2 (411 words) Published: November 5, 2007
A Descent into the Maelstrom

A descent into the maelstrom is a story told three years following the actual event being narrated by a spectator second hand. The story takes off atop a Norwegian mountain where an old man begins to describe a set of events in which a chaotic, turbulent sea robbed him of his family. As the horrified listener peers over the ledge of the mountain he witnesses the horrifying abyss that once claimed the mans brothers, the Maelstrom.

The story begins with the narrator and his brothers, three experienced fishermen who often venture to fish the more baneful waters of northern Norway. Often a time the brothers would venture out to these sinister waters unscathed aside from two a time in which the weather was most inhospitable, stranding them once a night and once a week. The brothers had become so accustom to the predictability of the Maelstrom that they could place its occurrence within the hour. Thus knowing that, like clockwork, the Maelstrom would arrive at eight o'clock they set off towards the islands to acquire their bounty.

Soon the brothers gained a prodigious amount of fish and set sail homeward. Unknowingly fate would not have it so. As the brothers sailed home in high spirit's the weather was exceptionally well, but soon it turned against their aspirations. As they headed toward the inlet the sky blackened as dark as a midnight matching the inky sea. Suddenly the winds changed against them blowing their boat back towards the sea. As the boat turned, to their horror before them they beheld a wall of water dropping forty fathoms and stretching abroad nearly a mile. The vast abyss of water began to swirl at magnificent revolutions drawing the boat deep within its vortex as if the carcass of the sea was being drained bone dry. As the brothers began to enter the maelstrom instinct began to take hold of their wills. In their scurry for survival each brother callously fought for their own preservation. Each one fighting to...
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