Edgar Allan Poe was an author who had many short stories and many works of literature. There will be six short stories analyzed in this paper written by him. These include The Angel of the Odd, The Tell-Tale Heart, Silence-A Fable, The Masque of the Red Death, The Fall of the House of Usher, and The Cask of Amontillado. These short stories have different themes and hidden messages that can be analyzed differently among them.
The Angel of the Odd is a short story that is told by an unknown person describing a night in November which he says is chilly. The short story seems to be humorous, because of the way he describes the Angel of Odd in the quotes below referring to various kinds of alcohol while the narrator had been drinking. For example, when he describes the appearance of the Angel of the Odd he states that his body was wine-pipe, or a rum-puncheon, (Poe). Poe was trying to make a point that odd and unrealistic situations can happen especially when people have been drinking.
The Tell-Tale Heart is about an unnamed narrator who killed an old man. This short story seems to exhibits mostly paranoia and the possibly mental insanity of a person. This is reflected by the fact that the narrator was possessed to kill this old man because of his pale blue eyes and his loud heartbeat even though he has no apparent reason to kill this old man. This leads to another point explaining that sometimes a person will hurt the people that they are acquaintances with. This is evidenced by the fact that the narrator sees the man’s evil eye and is not able to identify his actual personality from solely his eye. This is evident when Poe states that it was not solely the old man that tempted him but his Evil Eye (Poe).
Silence-A Fable is a short story told by a demon who is watching a man who he describes has the features of a deity on a deserted land. The acts bestowed by the demon on this man in the beginning of the short story reflects human ability to tolerate fear in different situations. This idea is reflected when the man continues to stay calm and continues to sit on the rock when the demon cursed the elements with the curse of tumult (Poe) and called unto the hippopotami (Poe) to loudly roar at the man. Then, the demon created silence among the land, which in contrast, causes the man fear. This shows that complete silence is something that people are not used to, so when complete silence happens, they are not sure how to deal with it and try to escape it at all costs. Most people are used to a loud and disorderly environment which they know how to cope and deal with even if they may be frightened at times in their lives.
The Masque of the Red Death is a short story about wealthy people who are being entertained in Prince Prospero’s palace that are described to have walls with gates of iron(Poe), which is supposedly blocking them from the Red Death. The main point of this story is to portray that people and other creatures are not able to escape death wherever we may be. The seventh room which is black and terrifying in this beautiful palace supposedly blocked off from death and terror reiterates the fact that death can happen at any time and anywhere. In addition, the gigantic clock of ebony represents that life goes by quickly. Poe wants to remind of how fast an hour goes by when he states that it is three thousand and six hundred seconds of the Time that flies (Poe). He might be making a point to enjoy life at all costs, because you never know when it can be over.
The Fall of the House of Usher is a short story told by a narrator who was childhood friends with the owner of the House of Usher. He starts off by creating a terrifying and horrific mood by explaining the house as a mansion of gloom (Poe). When he passes he feels a sense of insufferable gloom (Poe). Usher buries his twin sister and continues to hear and see her. This shows that guilt can effect a person’s mood and mental health significantly. The narrator describes Usher as declining in health and his looks. In his letter to the narrator he describes to have a mental disorder (Poe) which shows Lady Madeline’s authority and power over him over the years in deterioration of his health.
The Cask of Amontillado is narrated by a man called Montresor who is discussing how a man named Fortunato has upset him and he is out to get revenge on him. This story shows how people will take advantage of you in order to get what they want. This is reflected when Montresor invites Fortunato to taste the finest wines with him, so that he will be able to manipulate him into getting his revenge. Poe states that I continued to smile in his face, and he did not understand that I was now smiling at the thought of what I planned for him, at the thought of my revenge (Poe). This statement shows that we should not trust just anyone, and to watch our backs, because you can be blindsided in the blink of an eye.
Poe has many different short stories in which he displays a couple different story lines and moods. It is evident that Poe likes to display a scary and dark mood in many of his stories, as he does in five out of the six short stories above. Overall, there can be many different interpretations and analyses of these short stories.
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