|Ms. Hen enjoys a glass of Amontillado whilst reading Poe|
TALES OF MYSTERY AND IMAGINATION
Edgar Allan Poe
Ms. Hen received this book many years ago from her parents as a gift because they thought she was a talented writer because her teacher in high school said a story she had written was too good for a student that young to have written. Ms. Hen has read many of the well-known stories in this book, but during this Halloween season, she decided to take a look at some of the stories that aren’t as famous as ones such as “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and “The Cask of Amontillado.”
Ms. Hen read a few stories with women’s names as the title, “Ligeia,” “Eleonora,” and “Berenice.” She decided she would think about how Poe treated his women in his stories.
The language in the stories is thick, like a shag rug on the floor, or blood coming from a wound. Ms. Hen found in hard to sink her mind into these stories; she found she had to think on a different level than she usually does when she reads.
The story “Ligeia,” is about a man who loves a woman, whom he marries, but she dies, and the woman haunts him. He marries another woman, Rowena, but Ligeia follows him across Europe. Ms. Hen thought that the narrator might have been afraid of his first wife, and he thought she was haunting him because he was so afraid that she would be upset that he married another woman.
“Eleonora” is a story that does not fit in with the rest of Poe’s scary stories. In it, the narrator lives in a place called the Valley of Many Coloured Grass. He falls in love with his cousin, as many characters in Poe’s stories do, but of course, she dies. He moves to the city, remembering his promise to her that he will never love or marry another. At the end of the story, he keeps to his promise. This story has a happy ending, even though his sweetheart died. The narrator is faithful to Eleonora, after her death.
In the story, “Berenice,” the narrator’s wife dies and it is a typical horror story. He doesn’t know what happened to her until the end, when he discovered that he has unearthed her body and taken her teeth out of her grave. Ms. Hen thought this was disgusting, because she has a fear of losing her teeth. If someone dug up her grave and stole her teeth from her dead body, or if she found teeth that were from a corpse, she would be terrified.
Edgar Allan Poe had a tangled relationship with women. He never knew his birth mother, and he became estranged from his adopted family, the Allans. He was happily married, but his wife Virginia died at a young age, and he was devastated over her death. He became successful as a writer, and tried to get married after his wife died, but he died in a public house at the age of forty.
Ms. Hen enjoyed reading Edgar Allan Poe, but she thinks she can only read him in small doses, either early in the morning or late at night. She doesn’t think she could give any feathers up at all to Poe, but instead raises a glass to him. His work embodies darkness, which is perfect for October and the Halloween season.
|Ms. Hen with Edgar Allan Poe|