How did Edgar Allan Poe set up writings and literature? Read on to find out!
The mysteries of Edgar Allan Poe:
How did Edgar Allan Poe do it? How did he create that dark unsettling feeling interweaved into the fabrics and foundations of his works? In 1845 he published the dark, infamous poem called “The Raven”. Alike many other of Poe’s poems and stories, a dark mood is created in the tone of the rather long poem. So again, how did he do it? Well, we will just have to venture and find out for ourselves, won’t we?
Lets start at the setting…. Poe starts out his poem in a rather spooky setting. Of course, most spooky settings are set late at midnight, and that is exactly what Poe has done. Then, Poe writes about the character sitting in his bedroom chamber. Poe uses the word “chamber” rather than “bedroom”, because “chamber” has a darker spooky connotation. Afterwards, the poem states that the man is pondering “over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten Lore…”. The word “Pondering” is one of those words that has that unknown, but present feeling that makes you feel spooked. There is then a gentle tapping and rapping at the man’s chamber door. Now picture this, who would creep into your house and then gently tap on your bedroom door? And what type of prank is it to “gently” tap on someone’s door? Kind of creepy, huh?
For those of you that have read “The Raven” before, you are probably wondering who this “Lenore” is. Well, there is no recorded actual person named “Lenore” that has any relation to Poe. However, some believe he was talking about his wife, Virginia, who was in poor health, and had died two years after the publication of “The Raven”. Some also believe he was talking about all of his deceased loved ones (mother, wife, etc.), tied into one character (Lenore). When Poe talks about deceased people such as Lenore, it just makes his literature all the creepier.
Another creepy fact about Poe’s poem, is that since most (if not all) of the poem is centered around his beloved “Lenore”, this leads us to believe that there is something wrong with the character. Lenore’s sickness and death may have caused the character in the poem to be mentally unstable, or unwell. This compares with real life, because maybe Poe was mentally unwell (because of Lenore’s death), which caused him to write this fascinating poem. This might also explain why the man in the poem repeats that there “Tis some visitor, tapping at my chamber door”, “Only this, and nothing more.” First of all, why would a man say this out loud by himself? He probably new that there really was something more. Whenever “Something more”, is stated, that gives you the hint that there really is more to do with it. This makes the you sit on the edge of your seat as the character in the poem goes to answer the door. However, there is nothing at the door! What’s up with that? Well, there are two hypotheses. One would be that again, the character is mentally unstable. The second hypothesis would be that Poe was continuing to create the dark atmosphere. However, either way, Poe did his job well!
Poe also used a handy tool called repetition in his Poem. Repetition is when the first letter of a word is the first letter of more than one word in a sentence. For example (from “The Raven”) “In there stepped a stately raven, of the saintly days of yore.” In this sentence, the letter “S” is used before three words (stepped, stately, saintly). Repetition makes a poem or story more catchy and less choppy. It also keeps the reader awake and interested. However, Poe used this tool in a different sort of power. He used it to make the story more dark. This was done in a way when the mood of the story was already set. He then used repetition to make the story flow easier, thus connecting the mystery into a rhythm. Again, one of Poe’s great mysterious ideas.
So how did Poe do it? Well he created the mood of the story by starting out with a spooky setting, using an un-normal and creepy vocabulary and the put-together of words. He also achieved this (probably unintentionally) by talking about memories of the deceased, foreshadowing, repetition, and by letting you decide if the character or writer is mentally unstable. Although Poe’s “The Raven” is a widely famous and well-known poem, it will never be known as well as it was known to Poe. It’s unsettling atmosphere will never be as unsettling as it was to him either. Poe’s intentions will never be known to the public.
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