Edgar Allan Poe is an American gothic author who wrote many poems and stories with dark and picturesque scenery and mood. His most famous titles include, The Raven, Annabelle Lee, and The Cask of Amontillado. They are all examples of scary and mysterious American gothic books.
The Raven is Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous poem. It is very mysterious, confusing, and filled with grief.. The basis of the poem is a raven flies into the room of an unknown author who is reading and trying to forget about the death of his wife, Leonore.
The Raven is uncanny, meaning, it describes a feeling of fear combined with wonder aroused by something potentially dangerous that has never been experienced before. The bird leaves the author very confused because he doesn’t know why he is there. He asks several times why are you here and he can’t if the bird was sent from an evil spirit or if it was a runaway pet from someone.
The mystery of the book relates to us a lot in life. Is there life after death? Are the promises made in the Bible real? The speaker hopes to get the answers from the bird but all he gets is, “Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore.” The bird doesn’t answer the person which just adds to the secrecy. All the mystery in the story leads to a very scary and unique setting.
It takes place on a “midnight dreary” during a December night at midnight. December is the season that tends to have shorter nights of the year so that adds to the mystery because it is a lot darker and the bird is dark which adds to the somber mood. The unknown author is filled with grief because of the passing of his wife. The raven only contributes to the memory of his wife by saying, “nevermore”.
Annabel Lee is a poem about love that uses symbolism and, like most of Poe’s poems, gives off emotions of gloom and death and hints towards moods of love and depression. This poem is about a beautiful woman who dies . Annabel Lee and her husband celebrated their true love in a non-sexual way. “Chilling my Annabel Lee,” her husband suggests that his wife died of pneumonia or influenza . Annabel Lee is a symbol of Edgar Allan Poe’s wife, Virginia Poe, who died of tuberculosis. It is from a sea wind that Annabel Lee catches the chill that kills her. The sea is a looming, ominous presence in the poem and symbolizes loneliness, coldness, and emptiness. Annabel Lee wasn’t considered a real person because Poe used his writings to symbolize other things in his life.
Poe admitted that he used the character of Annabel to symbolize his childhood sweetheart, Sarah Royster. In the second stanza, the narrator says, “I was a child, and she was a child, in this kingdom by the sea” (Poe). The use of the word “child” over and over again shows us the importance of age.Later on in the poem, Poe tells of their passion for each other, saying, “Of my darling–my darling–my life and my bride,”(Poe). The difference of child and bride shows the amount of love they had. This poem mirrors Poe’s true love life because his wife was, in actuality, his first cousin and they had a fourteen-year age difference. The story describes the beautiful woman but uses a haunting view.
The Cask of Amontillado is a gruesome and chilling short story. The setting is carnival time in Italy. It is about a man who is insulted by his friend. Montresor takes the insult to heart and decides to lure Fortunato to his house with wine where he plans to bury him alive in the wine cellar. As in all of Poe’s stories, there are many examples of symbolism, and death.
The name, Fortunato contains the root word, fortune, which means luck or something good. It also means “fortunate” in Italian, an ironic name for someone who is about to be walled up in the catacombs of Italy. The word cask in the title refers to the casket into which Fortunato is put. Fortunato is a supposed wine connoisseur and that alone is his weakness.
Fortunato is lured to the deep inside his friend’s catacombs with promise of special bottle of wine. Montresor further manipulates Fortunato by telling him of another wine connoisseur named Luchesi, who isn’t a real person, but someone he made up as an extra way to convince Fortunato to go into the wine cellars.
Edgar Allan Poe is mostly remembered for his short fiction and poetry. His use of gothic macabre are meant to mirror moments from his personal life. Modern literary critics view Poe as an author who strived to detach himself from the soul-filled work of his contemporaries. Edgar Allan Poe is recognized today as one of the foremost progenitors of modern literature in the genres of horror and detective fiction.