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Chapter 1: The Detective Stories 1. Auguste Dupin: Poe's Burgeoning Professional by William Crisman Poe's ingenious sleuth Auguste Dupin, of the serial myster- ies "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Mystery of Marie Roget," and "The Purloined Letter," grows into his role of professional detective. His mysterious nature and impressive showmanship add to his aura of professional- ism, which helps earn him large sums of money for his services. 2. Dupin Is a New Mythological Figure by Lothar Cerny Like many heroes in ancient myths, Auguste Dupin fulfills almost superhuman tasks in his pursuit for justice. With- out any special physical prowess, he solves the riddles of the crimes he is faced with, bringing truth to light where others have searched for it in vain. 3. Poe's Detective Tales Employ Both Critical Reasoning and Intuition by Jan Whitt Poe's detective fiction exemplifies his belief that art must appeal to both reason and emotion. Detective Dupin lives by this same belief, solving his famous cases with a de- tached analysis of scientific data and an understanding of the human heart. 4. Narrator, Detective, Murderer: The Three Faces of Dupin by George Grella Dupin demonstrates the triumph of intellect over chaos and reflects the rational potential within Poe's own fre- quently irrational and disordered psyche, which presents itself in other stories. Chapter 2: Revenge, Murder, and Madness 1. Madness and Drama in "The Cask of Amontillado" by Kate Stewart 80 Montresor in "The Cask of Amontillado" is a quintessential revenge-tragedy hero. A master of dramatic technique, Poe symbolizes Montresor's descent into insanity with the sound of bells ringing throughout the story. 2. In Defense of Montresor by Patrick White 87 Although many readers read of Montresor's act of revenge with a sense of revulsion, Montresor is neither demented nor evil. In fact, he has reasons for the violence he com- mits. 5. The Supernatural and Psychological in "The Black Cat" by Fred Madden 94 In writing "The Black Cat," Poe intended his readers to explore both the supernatural and psychological levels of the tale. 4. Comic Design in "The Black Cat" by John Harmon McElroy 101 "The Black Cat" should be read as a hoax on readers who too readily sympathize with and pity criminals who pro- claim their innocence. 5. Evil Eye: A Motive for Murder in "The Tell-Tale Heart" by B.D. Tucker 114 In "The Tell-Tale Heart," the narrator commits a seemingly motiveless murder, for the old man has done him no wrong and the narrator does not desire his victim's mater- ial goods. A motive, however, is present as the narrator explains, "I think it was his eye!" 6. "The Tell-Tale Heart" Is a Nightmare About Death by John W Canario 118 "The Tell-Tale Heart" can best be understood when the narrator of the tale is recognized as the victim of a bizarre, hallucinatory nightmare. 7. A Link to Macbeth in "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Robert Mcllvaine 121 There are numerous allusions in "The Tell-Tale Heart" that suggest that Shakespeare's play Macbeth was on Poe's mind when he wrote the story. Chapter 3: Journeys into Terror 1. Echoes of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in "MS. Found in a Bottle" by Don G. Smith 125 An examination of common elements in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Poe's story "MS. Found in a Bottle" suggests that Shelley's novel served as an inspiration for the story. 2. "A Descent into the Maelstr6m" Can Be Read as a Tall Tale by Fred Madden In light of Poe's penchant for hoaxes, parodies, and bur- lesques, it is not difficult to read "A Descent into the Mael- strom" as a tall tale. 3. "A Descent into the Maelstrom" and the Quest for Ideal Beauty by Frederick S. Frank 13E "A Descent into the Maelstrom" is a kind of anti-Gothic story in which Poe transforms the Gothic journey from dark and forbidden places into a quest for ideal beauty. 4. The Mathematician in "The Pit and the Pendulum" by Rochie Lawes In "The Pit and the Pendulum," Poe's narrator is clearly a mathematician who makes use of his knowledge of math to escape the terror he faces. 5. Suffering and Self-Knowledge: The Path to Redemption in "The Pit and the Pendulum" by Jeanne M. Malloy Apocalyptic images and the theme of transcendence in "The Pit and the Pendulum" are best understood not as precursors to the literature of the absurd but as reminis- cent of the literary tradition of English Romanticism. Chapter 4: An Atmosphere of Death: "The Masque of the Red Death" and "The Fall of the House of Usher" 1. Allegorical Meaning in "The Masque of the Red Death" by H.H. Bell Jr. In "The Masque of the Red Death," the seven rooms Prince Prospero takes refuge in are allegorical representations of his own life span. Ironically, he chases through these rooms in pursuit of the thing he fears most: the victory of death over all. 2. "The Masque of the Red Death" Is a Fable of Nature and Art by Kermit Vanderbilt Prince Prospero is an exact portrait of Poe's image of the artist-hero, and "The Masque of the Red Death" is, in this light, a fable about nature and art. 3. In "The Masque of the Red Death" Life Itself Is Death by Joseph Patrick Roppolo The Red Death in Poe's story is not a pestilence in the usual sense of the word. Rather, it is life itself, the one af- fliction shared by all humankind. 4. The Enclosure Motif in "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Leonard W Engel Poe employs images of enclosure, a common motif in his work, in "The Fall of the House of Usher" to create setting, influence mood, and intensify the mystery of the work. 5. "The Fall of the House of Usher": A Rational Interpretation of Terror by .M. Walker Poe's purpose in writing "The Fall of the House of Usher" was to explore the process of mental derangement. There are plenty of elements in the tale capable of causing terror and such descent into madness. 6. Vampirism in "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Lyle H. Kendall Jr. References to Madeline in "The Fall of the House of Usher" are filled with a dark significance: She is a vampire. Chronology For Further Research Index