Edgar Allen Poe and the Uninformed Narrator

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Edgar Allan Poe is known as the master of horror and gothic writing. In a sense, he has taken the meaning of the word “horror” and turned it into an entirely different definition, even a different world. Poe's narrators do not make the reader scared, per se, but they make him or her inquire about things around them. Although people should never assume, they should always speculate and investigate. In “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe uses an imperfectly informed narrator because he wanted the reader to play with – and question – reality, to use their senses and imagination, and be able to tell the difference between dreams and reality. One theory on why Poe makes his narrator limited is that he wants the reader to search for the…show more content…
When people read, they are only using the conscious half of their brain. They do not think to use their subconscious, instead letting outside “noise” interfere with their interpretations of the work they are reading. If we unlocked that half of our brains while doing anything, there would be a whole new world of ideas and theories. The narrator in “The Fall of the House of Usher” is trapped in what he knows as reality, and is only using the attentive half of his brain. Conscious means alert and awake, while subconscious means, “innermost in thought”. That half of the human brain tends to be repressed or hidden. Consciousness tells people what and how to think, while subconsciousness allows them to discover and question the unknown. That part of our brain also allows us to think outrageously, where thinking so is accepted. Charles E. May says, “The narrator knows that some combinations of natural objects have the power of affecting one in such a way, but he also knows that the “analysis of this power” lies among considerations beyond our depth”. Not only the reader, but the narrator as well should use his subconscious to unlock questions left unaswered. The brain is a mysterious and misunderstood part of the human anatomy. Poe knows that in order to get people to think outside of the box, he had to play with them and make them question what he was doing in his stories. If people are given the truth, they tend to take it at face value. If someone so much as senses a small

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