Fear In Poe's Poetry

734 Words3 Pages
How Can Fear Change the Outcome of Our Lives? Fear can be beneficial and unhealthy, it just depends on how people handle it. Fear can keep people from doing horrendous things; however, being exposed to such fear can cause someone to become so paranoid they cannot enjoy life. For example, Edgar Allan Poe writes stories like “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” and “The Masque of Red Death” to show the different ways to handle fear. All of the main characters in Poe’s stories are exposed to fear and handle it differently. In the texts by Edgar Allan Poe, the symbols, irony, and imagery all display how fear distorts the narrator's mind and the results of that fear. Poe uses symbolism to represent how fear can distort the mind and the results of such fear. For example, in the “Tell-Tale Heart,” the narrator obsesses over the eye to show how fear can distort the mind: “It was open-wide, wide open- and I grew furious as I gazed upon it” (76). This symbol represents the old man judging the narrator, which the narrator fears. Afraid, the narrator starts to obsess over his actions because of his fear that the eye will keep criticizing him. Consequently, the narrator becomes so paranoid…show more content…
The narrator describes the pit in “The Pit and the Pendulum” as “In the centre yawned the circular pit from whose jaws I had escaped; but it was the only one in the dungeon” (67). The narrator describes the pit as having jaws, and the image that readers picture is that the pit was swallowing the narrator if he was not saved. The narrator feels alarmed when he realizes what torture he has to encounter. However, instead of becoming paranoid about it, he overcame his fear by being optimistic and using his wits. The narrator shows the example of how fear does not distort people’s minds if they use logic and hope to conquer their
Open Document