The abyss image and the concept of perverseness in selected works of Edgar Allan Poe

dc.contributor.advisorAnderson, John Q.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberFord, Thomas W.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberGuenther, Peter W.
dc.creatorVitanza, Victor Joseph
dc.description.abstractThe abyss image appears throughout the works of Edgar Allan Poe. The image takes various forms, for instance, a whirlwind, a maelstrom, a mirror, a black tarn, or an eye of one of the characters. At first Poe's use of the image in several of his parodies and humorous tales - "Metzengerstein," "The Duc De L'Omelette," and "A Tale of Jerusalem" - has no consistent meaning. However, about mid-point in his writing career, Poe began consistently to associate the image with a demonic force which he calls Perverseness. In a series of three tales - "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Black Cat," and "The Imp of the Perverse"-- Poe evolves an explanation for his concept of Perverseness and does so by associating it with the extended metaphor of the abyss. Poe's narrator explains that while he is high upon a precipice a Perverse impulse urges him to leap into the abyss. As soon as the narrator attempts through reason to check this impulse or passion for selfdestruction, he does exactly what he does not want to do. The struggle, as Poe defines it, is between reason and passion (impulse for selfdestruction) with reason always falling impotent to passion. [...]
dc.description.departmentEnglish, Department of
dc.format.digitalOriginreformatted digital
dc.rightsThis item is protected by copyright but is made available here under a claim of fair use (17 U.S.C. Section 107) for non-profit research and educational purposes. Users of this work assume the responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing, or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires express permission of the copyright holder.
dc.titleThe abyss image and the concept of perverseness in selected works of Edgar Allan Poe
dc.type.genreThesis of Arts and Sciences, Department of of Houston of Arts


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