Poem Analysis: The Man Of The Crowd

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The short story under analysis in this section is titled “The Man of the Crowd.” The story is told by a first person unnamed narrator who recalls what happened to him on an autumn evening, not a long time ago. The short story starts with a paragraph that seems to be a reflection in which an impersonal narrator voice ponders about secrets: It was well said of a certain German book that ‘er lasst sich nicht lesen’—it does not permit itself to be read. There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told. Men […] die with despair of heart and convulsion of throat, on account of the hideousness of mysteries which will not suffer themselves to be revealed […]. And thus the essence of all crime is undivulged. (475) After this introduction, the proper story begins. After having been ill for some months, the nameless narrator feels healthy again. He is spending the afternoon sitting in a Coffee-House in London…show more content…
For hours, they wander along the great thoroughfare, different busy streets, a square, bazaars, shops and so on. The narrator also reports the odd behaviour of the man during the persecution. Then, the old man suddenly changes his route and brings them to the verge of the city, to the most noisome quarter in London. After wandering around that area, the man retakes the way to the heart of the city. When the sun rises, they are again in the street where the persecution began. As before, the strange man spends the day wandering to and fro without leaving the turmoil. Then, when the second evening comes, the narrator stops following him and concludes that: This old man, […] is the type and the genius of deep crime. He refuses to be alone. He is the man of the crowd. […] I shall learn no more of him, nor his deeds. The worst heart of the world is a grosser book than the ‘Hortulus Animae,’ and perhaps it is but one of the great mercies of God that ‘er lasst sich nicht
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