Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" and Other Stories by Harold Bloom

By Harold Bloom

Even though severe opinion of the literary benefit of Edgar Allan Poe's writing has diverse largely considering his demise in 1849, his stories have remained renowned for his or her gothic sensibilities and evocative explorations of human vice and hope. Poe's impression on next generations of technology fiction and horror writers can't be understated. This new selection of full-length severe essays explores the iconic works of this esteemed author and the often-shadowy worlds he brings to lifestyles. This learn advisor to "A Tell-Tale middle" and different Poe tales incorporates a chronology of the author's lifestyles, a bibliography, an index, notes at the contributing writers, and an creation by means of Professor Harold Bloom.

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Extra resources for Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" and Other Stories (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)

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Poe himself never indicates that the narrator is male; in fact, his text offers no gender markings. Readers have assumed that the narrator is male because a neutralized and unmarked term is generally granted to be male. This is a trap that the language of the tale innocuously lays before the reader. By positing a female narrator, I propose to dislodge the earlier, patriarchal notion of a male narrator for the story. I argue, instead, that a gender-marked rereading of this tale reveals the narrator’s exploration of her female situation in a particular feminist discourse.

Was there ever so close a reenactment of Poe’s most horror-struck fantasies? Houdini’s escapes recapitulate the predicaments of Poe’s hapless balloonists, the fears of his epileptic, the fates of his voyager Pym and of Madeline Usher. Of Houdini, Menninger continues, His most dramatic escapes were from coffins buried underground and from chains while under water. But what does it all mean? Why did Houdini seek out, as though impelled by some principle of perversity, situations so claustrophobic and predicaments so difficult of egress?

Kristeva and Cixous argue that sexual identity (male or female) is a metaphysical construct outside the boundaries of the text, while gender identity is based upon cultural notions of maleness and femaleness evidenced in the text. Gender identity is more fluid than the former and makes room for the crucial concept of androgyny that is central to feminist readings in demolishing the rigid patriarchal notion of what is male/female. Androgyny deconstructs crippling binary oppositions of masculinity and femininity by allowing the speaking subject to occupy either or both positions.

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