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In The Shadow Of Man Essay Outline

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In laymen's terms, The Shadow- A Parable, by Edgar Allan Poe to the untrained eye could be seen as a sadistic, unordered, confusing pile of thoughts that should be banned from the folder of Classic American literature. But to the trained eye, the Shadow is a work of art, a beautifully told story, with details so commonplace today, but yet were so revolutionary in Poe's time. Classic of all of Poe's literature the Shadow has many shared Poe motifs, directly meets Poe's classic standards for storytelling, both of which are characteristics radical for literature of Poe's time. The story starts out with an introduction to the reader, who as the narrator states could be reading at a time long since the narrators death, perhaps even centuries since. Also stating that yet a few who will find much to ponder upon the characters here, this meaning a few who read will find much more than the obvious to ponder about from the depths of the story. Next the story moves on to start the telling, and the narrator explains details of the setting such that the year had been a year of terror, this the a year during the time of the plague.

That to him, the narrator, now identified as the Greek Ones, among others, the alternation of the seven hundred and ninety-fourth year the spirit of the skies, made itself manifest not only in the physical orb of the earth, but also in the souls. of mankind. , the narrator stating here that a higher power having to do with the coming of the rotation of seven hundred and ninety-four years, has not only affected the physical earth, but also the souls of men. The Narrator then explains over some wine, seven men, shut out from the outside world were gathered around a man named Zoilus, dead a product of the plague, and described as the genius and the demon of this scene. The air, atmosphere, and objects of the room are described as heavy, laden with a sense of suffocation and anxiety, among other dark depressive feelings. The seven men are in the process of getting drunk of wine that reminded us (the men) of blood, and the narrator, among the others, cannot give attention to the dead man Zoilus, instead looking into a dark mirror, and singing drunken songs.

The songs slowly dying off, and soon a shadow appearing from the draperies of the room where the sounds seemed to have faded away into, and the shadow, a figure like that of man, but only such that a moon might cast from a man, it was the shadow neither of man nor of God, nor any familiar thing. , the shadow moved to a resting place at the deceased mans feet, under the arch of a doorway. The men unable to gaze upon the shadow but cast down our (their) eyes, and gazed deep into the dark mirror. The shadow then spoke and said I am SHADOW. and that he is from a place near the Catacombs of Ptolemaic, also known as a graveyard in Greece. This stated the men, all seven, moved from their seats to stand trembling, shuddering, and aghast because they heard not the sound of one mans voice, but the tones in the well-remembered and familiar accents of many thousand departed friends. This marking the end of the short story.

The Shadow, being a work of the great (and late) Edgar Allan Poe, has many motifs / themes that Poe's works are famous for. The whole plot of the story being based around the most popular of Poe's reoccurring motifs, that of death, Poe creates a vivid picture of men, most likely morning the death of a friend, young Zoilus. Dead who come face to face with the shadow of many of their deceased friends. Poe describes the dead friend in the room with a face distorted with the plague and his eyes in which death had but half extinguished the fire of the pestilence using both the motifs of decay / rot , and that of eyes. Poe also uses the motif of Suffocation heaviness in the atmosphere, a sense of suffocation and the motif of alcohol and the effect of it, madness, and drank deeply of the purple wine.

Some other motif / ideas that Poe uses are that of clocks and times, The year had been a year of terror, that of guilt, I forced myself not to perceive the bitterness of the expression, and finally that of a vortex or whirlpool, when describing the seven men who are getting drunk, spirally down to the state of fanatics. Applying Poe's five short story standards to the story Shadow, one can find a definite meeting of all qualifications of Poe. The first, that of a totality of effect is found from the very beginning where the narrator explains the mystery under which the story is told, then to the explanation of the story, then finally to the namesake of the story, the Shadow, all the while declaring a dark, depressive mood. The story ends with a shadow, reminding through his voice, the seven men in the room, of all of the familiar people / friends they have lost. The second standard, that which states that the goal or mood of the story should be presented in the first few sentences, is obvious, the first sentence says Ye who read are still among the living, but I who write shall have long since gone my way into the region of shadows. , this sentence obviously carries the theme of death and depression. A third standard, that the story should aim at capturing the truth, is shown through the truth of a depressed man who is reminded of the deaths of so many, thousands familiar to him, .

the well remembered and familiar accents of many thousand departed friends... Read in the space of five minutes, the story easily meets the fourth standard of Poe, that the story should be short enough to read at one sitting. The story meets the fifth and final standard of not leaving loose ends, or being tightly structured by clearing up what has become of the narrator in the beginning that he is probably centuries gone, and Poe also clears up the question of whether there really was a shadow that spoke by providing the evidence that the seven men were heavily drinking wine, and were most likely well-drunk.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 26mm | 322.05g
  • 02 Dec 1999
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 66pp b&w photographs
  • 0753809478
  • 9780753809471
  • 77,275