Analysis Of Poe 's ' The Oval Portrait '

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Poe brings about the death of a beautiful woman through the theory of Biocentrism by using memory, imagery, and obsession with love. Robert Lanza, a professor from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina proposed the theory of Biocentrism in 2007 and was credited in The American Scholar. He states that death does not exist in any real sense unless we associate ourselves with the body. The consciousness of an individual is just energy. Energy cannot be destroyed or created. Therefore, the body may die but the conscious remains alive somewhere. Lanza says that the concept of death is only of the mind. In "The Oval Portrait," imagery is shown by detailed descriptions of the beautiful wife in the painting. The descriptions of the portrait in the story, such as "The arms, the bosom, and even the ends of the radiant hair melted imperceptibly into the vague yet deep shadow which formed the background of the whole,” describes how realistic and beautiful the portrait was. The portrait seemed realistic because immense detail and effort was put into the creation. Even though her death will evidently result in the deformation of her body, her identity as beautiful and radiant survives in the painting. Therefore, according to the theory of Biocentrism, she is not truly dead. In "The Oval Portrait," memory is found in the living presence of the wife in the portrait. Although she is deceased, the wife is painted so life-like in the portrait, the memory of her lives

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