Edgar Allan Poe "The Black Cat", "The Fall Of The House Of Usher"

1479 words - 6 pages

Romanticism created the unique world of literature, combining good and evil, past and future, imagination and reality. It is full of dark mysteries, horrible secrets, extraordinary elements, melancholy and historical events. Sometimes the border between human imagination and real life becomes so vague that it is almost impossible to distinguish the truth. Moreover, the composition of the works of that period was quite predetermined by their tendency for the unusual and supernatural. The reader can found there a complicated plot, dynamic development of the events and unexpected, sudden changes in the destinies of characters. As usual, a dramatic conflict, which is solved with the help of the ...view middle of the document...

He is already close to madness. What is more, he even admits this fact. "For the most wild yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence", - points out the main hero of "The Black Cat" (Poe, 1960: 103). His "enemy" - cat Pluto - is a creation of unknown powers. It also represents conscience, fairness, revenge and punishment, and his primary mission is to follow the main hero as a black shade, as well as remind him of his crime. Undoubtedly, the cat is an abnormal and a kind of a grotesque character. It is necessary to take into account the fact that this animal does not exist as a live being: it was killed by the hero, but mysteriously resurrected after some time in order to take revenge... Still, it would be wrong to perceive the horrible events taking place in these stories as real occurrences. Most of them are metaphors of Poe's sensitive and tortured soul. The tragic events of his life formed his pessimistic and darkish conception of life, as well as the basis of his mysteries. Poe's loneliness and misery combine with nightmares and are reflected in his characters' fates.In "The fall of the House of Usher" one of the characters also "feels the taste of madness". "The writer spoke of acute bodily illness - of a mental disorder which oppressed him - and of an earnest desire to see me, as his best and indeed his only personal friend, with a view of attempting, by the cheerfulness of my society, some alleviation of his malady", - describes him his friend - the narrator (Poe, 1960: 114). The reasons for this mental disease are not clear. Unlike "The Black Cat", in "The Fall of the House of Usher" there is no any distinct character that represents unusual forces. However, the "House of Usher" itself has some power on its inhabitants: it influences the consciousness and behaviour of characters; they cannot leave it and are doomed to die, being prisoners of this house. In fact, the house creates a special world full of fear. What is more, it collapses right after the death of its last inhabitant - Usher. ("While I gazed, this fissure rapidly widened - there came a fierce breath of the whirlwind - the entire orb of the satellite burst at once upon my sight - my brain reeled as I saw the mighty walls rushing asunder - there was a long tumultuous shouting sound like the voice of a thousand waters - and the deep and dank tarn at my feet closed sullenly and silently over the fragments of the "House of Usher" [Poe, 1960: 131]).Poe emphasizes man's weakness in the face of superior forces, moving him irrevocably toward imminent destruction. As usual, these forces have various embodiments: from an ordinary cat in "The Black Cat" to the whole house in "The Fall of the House of Usher".Poe has certainly expressed all stages of his life in his stories, but that was his ill health and suffering that really created these fantastic...

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