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Review Of Edgar Allan Poe 's ' The Black Cat ' And ' Fall Of The House Of Usher '

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Olivia Flynn
Ms. Rodd
Honors Mystery and Suspense
8 October 2015
Gothic Literature and Progression into Downfall
Gothic literature, specifically that created by renowned author Edgar Allan Poe, contains common themes, symbols and structures that make his work easily recognizable as this specific type of literature. Poe’s writing often incorporates many gothic elements, and especially puts emphasis on elements leading to madness and downfall in the lives of his characters. Through the use of suspense provoking gothic elements, Poe is able to captivate and intrigue his readers, which attributes to his widespread popularity. In his short stories, “The Black Cat”, and “The Fall of the House of Usher”, along with his poem “Annabel Lee”, author Edgar Allan Poe demonstrates both perversity and fear through the use of literal and figurative imprisonment, freakishness, and obsessive love, as factors causing violence and destruction in the lives of his characters.
In the “Black Cat” the narrator tells us his story from the inside of his prison cell as he awaits his trial. The narrator’s imprisonment began in a figurative form, that of a disease called alcoholism. Upon introducing us into his life, the narrator explains, “But my disease grew upon me- for what disease is like Alcohol!-and at length even Pluto, who was now becoming old, and consequently somewhat peevish-even Pluto began to experience the effects of my ill temper” (5). Previously, the narrator had described Pluto
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