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Psychological Analysis of Edgar Allen Poe

Psychological Analysis of Edgar Allen Poe

When picking a topic for my research paper. I thought of many different ideas. I started to think about my interests is reading literature, and I decided to write about my favorite author Edgar Allan Poe. This paper is going to look at Poe from a psychological perspective. There seems to be few attempts to look at the psychological causes of humor in Poe’s work, and how his personal life may have had an impact on his writings. Many of Poe’s tales are distinguished by the author’s unique grotesque ideas in addition to his superb plots. In an article titled “Poe’s humor: A Psychological Analysis,” by Paul Lewis, he states: “Appropriately it seems to me, that to see Poe only as an elitist whose jokes could not be grasped by a general audience is to sell him short. He does not deny this elitist side of Poe; but he holds for a broader, more universal less intellectual humor that screams out from the center of Poe’s work. (532) This article provides important insight to understanding the nature of the humor and its relationship to the overwhelming horror in some of Poe’s work. Lewis’ believes that humor and fear have a special relationship in Poe’s tales. Humor, taken to its limits, leads the reader to fear. He says, “Over and over, when humor fails, we are left with images of fear: the raven’s shadow, the howling cat, the putrescence corpse, or the fallen house. (535) According to Lewis, in The Black Cat and Ligeia, he argues that are first impressions of the narrators are half comic. “We are led gradually away from this humor into an expanding horror of men driven to acts of obscene cruelty.

The combination with humor and horror occurs differently in Hop Frog where cruelty and joking co-mingle. (537) To agree with Lewis, I feel what happens in this tale is not just that cruel jokers are destroyed by a cruel joke but that joking itself gives good way to horror, as the cruelty of joke destroys its ability to function as a joke. The appeal of Lewis’ article about psychological insight of Poe rings true. I agree that fear and humor are linked together in Poe’s tales. I have seen it in hospitals, and at funerals, or even when humor helps pass the time during a threat of a destructive storm...

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