Edgar Allan Poe's Narrative Voice

Good Essays
Define Poe’s preferred narrative voice. Explain, using at least two examples from the stories we have read, why it is his preference. Make sure to contrast this narrative voice with other narrative voice techniques. Edgar Allan Poe’s preferred narrative voice was first person. When using first person narration, the story is told as a personal narrative. Pronouns such as “I”, “me”, and “my” are all used within a story that is written in the first person point of view. There are also other types of narration that Poe did not prefer to use. Those types are called second person, third person limited, and third person omniscient. It is significantly less common to find a story written in the second person point of view. Second person narration…show more content…
The thoughts and feeling of other characters are only revealed through what the main person or narrator knows. Third person limited is written using pronouns like “he”, “she”, “it”, “they”, etc. The final type of narration is called third person omniscient. In this style of writing, the reader is able to know and understand all of the character’s thoughts and feelings throughout the whole story. The same pronouns are used with third person omniscient as third person limited. The main reason that Poe preferred writing his stories in first person was because as a reader, first person makes the story as close as you could get to actually experiencing the events and thought process of the main character in real life. At the beginning of the story Tell Tale Heart, Poe’s opening line was “I’m not crazy, I’m totally sane”. He continues by murdering and chopping a guy up. The first line helps the reader to understand that the main character in Poe’s story did not think that his obsession with killing the old man because of his cloudy eye was unreasonable in any way. Another example can be found in Poe’s short story The Black Cat. At the…show more content…
In the first short story we read, The Black Cat, guilt is what causes the narrator to be caught for the crime he did. The narrator in this story hated the black cat that him and his wife had as a pet. He was an alcoholic, and one day when the cat vexed him, Poe, in the story, ripped the cat’s eye out. After ripping the cat’s eye out, Poe felt bad and decided to hang the cat. Poe hung the cat, so he would no longer feel guilty for the crime that he committed against the cat. In the first part of the story, The Black Cat, guilt caused the narrator to kill the cat that he had previously injured. The role quilt played, however, changed as the story went on. A new cat ended up showing up at Poe’s house and him and his wife decided to keep it. At first, Poe liked the cat, but it began reminding him more and more of the cat that he had killed. Guilt caused Poe to dream of the cat, and he felt like he was being haunted by both the cat he had killed and the cat that was still alive. Eventually, Poe started hating the new cat as well as a result of the guilt he was feeling from killing his old cat. In summary, in the story The Black Cat, guilt ended up following Poe and haunting him for what he had done to the first black cat. In the story Tell Tale Heart, guilt played a similar role with a few differences. In this story, the narrator was also a man who seemed to have something
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