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ENG250Y1 - Edgar Allen Poe's Works - Lecture Notes.docx

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Tony Fong

ENG250Y1 – LECTURE NOTES October 18, 2013 Edgar Allen Poe’s Works The Raven: Stanza One  Hears a knocking on his door  Reading books that have been forgotten  He may or may not be mapping  Starts with a fairy-tale like opening, dissociating us from reality Stanza Two  Trying to set the tone  Wants to read book to escape from his sorrow  "nameless here for evermore" = refers to the fact that he will never say his lover's name anymore Stanza Three  Personifying sadness in the curtains, does this to project sadness to the environment Stanza Four  Conflict of facts, now he states that he was napping  "darkness" evokes a blank slate, suggests that everything is fabricated because there is nothing but darkness  The darkness obscures facts and provides a space for him to conjure things Stanza Five  There is a echo, is there something there or merely an echo  Emphasizing that he's dreaming and coming back into consciousness  Unreliable, calls out his lover's name when he said in Stanza Two he said he couldn't  A search physically and mindfully Stanza Six  Repetition of "mystery explore", a doubling, also found in the context that creates anxiety Stanza Seven  Physical demeanor or a lord or lady  Perching on top of Pallas suggests that it has knowledge that the narrator doesn't  Casting a shadow upon Pallas, upon rationality, is at the same time obscuring it  "flirt" = raven has substituted for love  Raven is a symbol of death, an omen Stanza Eight  Finds the raven comical  Asks for the Raven's name Stanza Nine  Rationalizes that the Raven's name is not likely "nevermore" Stanza Ten  Italicized "he" = a reminder of Lenore leaving him  A reminder of death, everyone dies  Pouring out his soul, the raven could be an omen that all his friends will die and leave him Stanza Eleven  Rationalizes what the raven keeps saying the one word Stanza Twelve  Sits beside it trying to figure the raven out  Madness begins  Giving meaning to what he can't comprehend  Alliteration shows his fast-paced heartbeat, his madness beginning  Thinks of the raven more seriously  A shift, from thinking it comical to ominous Stanza Thirteen  Displacing his grief onto the raven  Everything reminds him of his lover Stanza Fourteen  Now thinks that the raven is sent from god so that he may forget his grief of losing his lover Stanza Fifteen  Asks the raven if he'll see his lover in heaven  Will there be a balm, something to soothe his pain  Perverse, asking a question to prolong his grief, making himself purposefully sad Stanza Sixteen  Subconsciously wants to raven to say that it will never leave him  A projection of his psyche Stanza Seventeen  Says the raven will never leave him  Taking pleasure out of his sadness, enjoys the attention  The poem is a critique of transcendentalism, of the literary art, to academia  The raven becomes the speaker for the narrator, a shadow of the narrator's dark imagination and his refusal to think with his mind, to stretch his evidence  Reason leads to sorrow  Projects what he wants onto others  A parody of the american scholar perhaps  An inner battle - reality versus fantasy Tell-Tale Heart:  Madness is it ironically showed through his rationale of not being mad  Senses are sharpened or heightened  Love-hate psychological framework  Kills the old man with the eye, to get rid of the judgement symbolically  Fabricating a motive after the fact  The epigraph in the beginning o Human condition is death o Art is immortal, like the autobiographic confession of the old man's murder  The narrator immortalizes himself in the story, by making himself composed and hoping that by confessing, he can prolong his life, immortally through art and by exonerating himself from the crime  Playing god, the power of murder gives him a force - omnipotence  Kills the man to therefore kill a part of himself that he wants to get rid of  Narrator afraid of time and disease  At the end, he hears what he thinks is the old man's heart, but it's probably his own  The old man's "eye" represents "I"; th
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