Edgar Allan Poe Research Paper

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Everyone Else is Pleading Insanity, Why can’t I?
If one were to say that Edgar Allan Poe is a good writer, he or she is making an understatement of his work. He is one of the most critically acclaimed writers of all time. His stories have put him in a category of notoriety that also includes, Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, John Steinbeck, and Earnest Hemingway, just to name a few. Poe is most widely known for his unique obsessively dark, or gothic horror stories. To many, he is considered to be the “grandfather” of present- day horror. His writing shows that he is familiar with the thought process of a madman, leaving some to believe that he himself was in fact insane, but if he were, could he have the ability to describe such dark
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Within reading the first few lines of the story, the narrator has revealed to the audience two symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia, anxiety and auditory hallucinations.
“These symptoms, especially his disposition to dispute, are manifested not only when he “arose and argued about trifles” but also throughout the narration… Obviously, the prisoner’s captors have named his crime for what it is, the act of an anxiety-ridden madman; this is the argument that the narrator- illustrating another symptom of schizophrenia, lack of insight- rejects as erroneous, impertinent, absurdly false; this is the thesis to which he attempts to provide the antithesis ” (Zimmerman).
In regards to the medical aspect, the anxiety reveals itself in the way that the narrator is attempting to give his side of the story. He has admitted to his extremely nervous behavior, yet later in the paragraph states, “Hearken! and observe how healthily- how calmly, I can tell you the whole story” (Poe 40).
The audience should also notice within the first paragraph where the legal definition of insanity could also be applied. It is here where his words begin to contradict themselves. It is here where he starts to demonstrate a mad man, by accusing the audience of coming to the conclusion that he is mad. He then goes on to imply that if he were mad, he “would be out of control, …profoundly illogical, and not even recognize the implications of his

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