Edgar Allan Poe Shortstories Part III

Hi all 🙂

I as mentioned a couple of times, I really like Poe 😛 But as I read more of his stories, I seem to like him more and more, because as it turns out, he doesn’t have a great talent only to write horror stories and such. In fact, he touches a larger variety of themes, and it’s really nice to see when someone has this wide range of knowledge. So this is another good point in the ever growing list of “why I like Poe” 🙂

Anyway, this time I’ll be talking about 4 works again, and as before, you can read them by clicking on the title 🙂 So here they are:

The Fall of the House of Usher

I have heard of this story from a friend, who said it was really interesting and really Poe-ish 🙂 And she was right 🙂 This is again a great example of Poe’s talent in describing scenes.

The story is about a childhood friend of the narrator, whom the narrator visits because of a letter. The house and its surroundings speak of desolation and of a certain melancholic decay. And, as expected, the image of the inhabitants of the house, a Mr. Roderick Usher and his sister, Madeline, mirror their surroundings. Roderick is as thin as a skeleton, not to mention his mental illness, and Madeline is soon found dead.

The story gets really creepy by the end and only in the last paragraph do we find the meaning of the title. But of course, we can view the title in more figurative ways also 🙂

This story reminded me of a little movie that I once saw, called “Vincent”. Actually the movie contains more references to Poe and it’s really very interesting. So if you want to see it, you can find it here (it’s only a few minutes long): Vincent.

The Gold Bug

I really loved this story, because it is really different from anything I’ve read of Poe so far. And it seems he never ceases to amaze me 🙂

In this story, we go on a treasure hunt with the narrator, his friend, William Legrand and Legrand’s servant, Jupiter. But of course, we don’t realize that it is in fact a treasure hunt at the beginning. What we do see is Legrand, acting very strange on finding an interesting bug and drawing a picture of it on a piece of paper.

Later we find out that it is no ordinary paper, but a parchment once belonging to Captain Kidd, containing an encrypted message. So the hunt begins and the hunters eventually stumble upon something unexpected and intriguing.

I liked this story for more reasons, the main one probably being my nerdy love for cryptography 😛 But it is also very well written, and despite being quite longer than the ones I’ve read so far, it keeps the reader interested in what’s going to happen next 🙂

Hop-Frog

This is another interesting and slightly different story about a court jester who takes revenge upon the king and his counselors for their malice.

At the beginning of the story we learn the sad fate of the jester Hop-Frog, who is a dwarf and a cripple, and his friend, Trippetta. Because of his appearance, Hop-Frog is frequently laughed at by the joke-loving king and his court. But Hop-Frog endures this somehow, wanting revenge only after the king humiliates Trippetta.

He disguises his grim plans of revenge as a practical joke the king and his eight counselors could play on the guests of the coming masquerade ball. And the unsuspecting king and his men fall right into his trap.

This story is interesting, but not really my favorite, but it’s worth reading as it touches themes like cruelty to the more unfortunate and the revenge of the oppressed.

The Imp of the Perverse

This story is again a bit different, as it ventures into analyzing human nature in one of its interesting features. This is, namely, the fact that many times we do things we shouldn’t, just because we aren’t supposed to.

In the first part of the story, the narrator contemplates upon this fact, and in the second part, we find out more about the narrator himself.

He has committed murder, thus inheriting a fortune. He lived happily for a while, knowing he won’t be caught, but at the end he is betrayed by this inexplicable feature of his nature.

I found it an interesting story because I really like reading stories/books on psychology or that touch the subject. So if you do to, then this story’s for you 🙂

Well, I guess that’s all for now. Stay tuned for Part IV of the series 🙂

And until then, have a nice day and a nice read 🙂

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