Monday, November 4, 2013

Poe question

Are the characters in Poe stories stereotypes?  If so, explain why EA Poe used stereotypes.  If not, explain how the characters merit individuality. (200 words/in text citations)

27 comments:

  1. The characters in Poe's stories are stereotypes because in most of the stories, the character is insane and it sort of stereotypes insane people. He always portrays them as insane murderers and that they would go to any lengths. In most of his stories someone or something is killed in a terrible and disgusting way. This is stereotyping how insane people like to murder as, in reality, it is typically just shooting someone and not torturing them or putting in axe in their head. He also stereotypes the Spanish Inquisition and made it seem like everywhere in Spain supported this when, in fact, Toledo, the place he had The Pit and the Pendulum based in was actually against the Spanish Inquisition.

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  4. The characters in Poe’s stories follow stereotypes in order to bring out essences of his stories. For example, in The Black Cat, the narrator makes a point to stress that he is not mad (Poe 127). Poe does this to show that the narrator is a little mad, while leaving it up for speculation. By doing this the readers pay more attention to the mental stability of the narrator rather than the setting, which is rather vague in The Black Cat. In The Masque of the Red Death, the main character is a rich prince whose name is Prospero. Prospero then meets his downfall when he merely doesn’t get his way immediately (Poe 177-185). The stereotype of the prince who meets his downfall because of his money allows for readers to focus on that character. In so doing, we end up following Prince Prospero all the way until his death, rather than letting him become irrelevant. In The Pit and the Pendulum, the main character is one that manages to escape every situation except for the last one (Poe 254-275). This allows for the reader to want to see how he gets out of the final situation only to see them give up and have to be saved.
    Works Cited
    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Black Cat.” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 127-141. Print
    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Pit and the Pendulum” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 254-275. Print
    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Masque of the Red Death” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 177-185. Print.

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  5. In Edgar Allan Poe's works, I believe he does stereotype his characters. From the selection we have read, we see that in each one, there's always a form of madness, whether it be the narrator in "The Black Cat", the torture in "The Pit and the Pendulum", or the masked figure in "The Masque of the Red Death". In these stories, the 'madness' is stereotyped as a killer, like when the narrator murdered his cat and his wife, in The Black Cat(Poe 130-140), or the torturers tried to murder the narrator in The Pit and the Pendulum(Poe 237). I believe EA Poe uses stereotypes because his whole life, he had tough and dark times, such as his family's death, his wife's death, and his alcoholism, which I think made him 'mad', and further portrayed a character in most of his works as someone who's always killing. This made me further think as to why I think he would portray a figure of madness. I believe this is because tuberculosis was killing everyone that was close to him, he felt that this was in sense a killer, or what drove him to the madness state. I believe Poe stereotypes a form of madness into each of his stories, derived from his loved ones death and his depressing life.

    Works Cited
    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Black Cat.” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 127-141. Print.
    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Pit and the Pendulum” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 254-275. Print.

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  7. The definition of “stereotype” (as defined by the Dictionary app) is “a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing”. I don't believe Poe's characters are stereotypes in anyway because when someone hears of a black cat they don't automatically think "oh, the one that was hung?" as if when someone says “blonde” they could automatically (and unfairly) assume that that blonde is dumb. Our narrator in the Black Cat merits individuality by being internally tormented and turned to evil by apparently nothing but alcohol. Our character in the Pen and the Pendulum has more intelligence and reason to his actions then other clueless captives in movies. For example, our narrator uses reason to apply the meat to his bonds to lure the rats to gnaw them away (page 318) which might not have been the initial thoughts of a different captive. Yes, it could be said that he stereotypes insanity, but I believe insanity is too broad to be specifically stereotyped in his deep and meaningful stories. The insanity that he shows with some of his characters is unadmitting, slowly-sinking insanity where they slowly fall deeper and deeper down. If they were indeed stereotypes, I don’t believe he would’ve allowed for things such as reason and trying to take on another cat to break through.

    Works Cited
    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Black Cat.” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 127-141. Print
    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Pit and the Pendulum” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 254-275. Print
    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Masque of the Red Death” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 177-185. Print.

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  8. I think the characters in Poe’s stories are stereotypical to the type of writing that is expected from him when you only look at the surface. However, I think if you take a look deep down into his characters and their motivations, you will find that it is more than just the dark and creepy words we have come to expect. His characters are driven by meaningful emotions. For example, in The Pit and the Pendulum at what seems like the final seconds of the main characters life, he gets this miraculous hope and he grabs the meat and rubs it all over his bandage and it frees himself from the torture of the pendulum. I think that Poe likes to make people think when reading his writing. In addition, in The Black Cat you think on the outside the narrator is very nice and kind and friendly and you start to think that it is a happy story until Poe makes him fall to Alcohol. Edgar Allan Poe uses stereotypes to make people dig deep down and look beneath the surface to find the hidden meaning of his characters.

    Citations
    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Black Cat.” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 127-141. Print
    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Pit and the Pendulum” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 254-275. Print

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  9. The characters of Poe’s stories meet stereotypes of what normal people would do in his situations. In “The Masque of Red Death”, Prince Prospero gets very angry when an impersonator of the Red Death is at his masquerade (Poe 170). Most people would get angry in this type of situation, when someone makes fun of that party that is celebrating being away from the Red Death. Prince Prospero is a very stereotypical character in this way. Also, in “The Pit and the Pendulum”, the narrator is on one hand facing that he is going to die, but on the other hand he is trying to figure a way out of death (Poe 220-240). Most people would have the same reaction, they would’ve madness take over them and then reason would pop out. This narrator is very stereotypical psychologically for this matter. Now, in “The Black Cat”, the narrator did cut the cat’s eye out over a bite to the hand (Poe 120). This action isn’t like everyone’s first reaction, but it’s stereotypical in the way of overreaction to something very simple. Human nature has us overreact to some things that we care about, and that’s shown through an overreaction to pain given from someone you love. So, Poe’s characters are very stereotypical in their own ways.

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  10. The people in Poe’s stories are stereotyped. One of the largest was the Prince in “The Masque of the Red Death”. He was portrayed as the stereotypical rich person, snobby and selfish. You may be thinking “He brought in 1,000 people, saving them from death!” Although that is true he only invited the “Knights and dames of his court”(Poe 177) Although Prince Prospero saved many people, none were any poor civilians. Another stereotype is the insane man in “The Black Cat”. He is regularly shown murdering and or causing massive havoc or pain. The biggest stereotype in the black cat is when the police come. The definition of insane is “in a state of mind that prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction; seriously mentally ill.”(Merriam Webster) Most people who have committed a serious felony run out the door, they don't keep their calm in when the police show up. And since most insane people don't follow the norm it fits right in. But the question is why? Why would Poe use these stereotypes. Simply to move the story along to give moral and meaning, because what fun is a story with an insane man, who isn't insane?

    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Masque of the Red Death” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 177-185. Print.

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  11. Edgar Allen Poe does use stereotypes in his writing. In all three stories we read, the character that kills someone is looked at as crazy. In “The Black Cat” the narrator kills his cat and his wife. Other characters, as well as the reader will think he is crazy. This also goes for the people who are torturing the man in “The PIt and the Pendulum”. It is thought that the people that are coming up with the tortures are crazy. The most often used stereotype by Edgar Allen Poe is that crazy people always kill/harm someone, or that the people to kill/harm someone is crazy.

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  12. The characters are a general stereotype. This is because each is modelled around Edgar Allan Poe himself. Poe used his stories to progressively write an autobiography with bits and pieces of his life. In the black cat it is stated that, “he inflicted a slight wound upon my hand with his teeth” (Poe 145). Today it is known that Poe had received rabies and it is possible that this was inflicted by a cat biting him (Seretis). His characters also have the push of insanity behind them. For example, “ Mad indeed would I be to expect it … Yet, mad am I not” (Poe 142). They try to tell you that they aren’t insane, but after the story it seems they are insane. Also something we can stereotype among his characters is that there is always real or supposed death incorporated in their lives. This is expressed when the narrator in The Black Cat kills the cat and his wife. In The Pit and the Pendulum the narrator is faced with death three times. In The Masque of the Red Death all of the people in the story die. Therefore Poe’s characters are a general stereotype of being faced with death and telling his story.

    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Masque of the Red Death” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 177-185. Print.

    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Pit and the Pendulum” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 254-275. Print.

    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Black Cat” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 127-141. Print.

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  13. Most of the characters that Edgar Allen Poe uses are not stereotypical characters. They are certainly individual in, if nothing else, their unique forms of subtle or blatant insanity. Not many people or characters have experiences of lives like those of the characters in Edgar Allen Poe’s stories. Any people who hang cats, hide bodies in walls or floorboards or kill others because of their eyes are not normal and especially not stereotypical people. Experiences meriting the description “And then came, as if to my final and irrevocable overthrow, the spirit of PERVERSENESS” (Poe 182) are not stereotypical ones. Poe’s characters are very unique and definitely aren't stereotypical in their personality or experiences.

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  14. The characters in Poe’s works are not stereotypes. However, the characters are similar. The narrator in The Black Cat and the narrator in the pit and the pendulum are very similar. They both have to conflict with insanity. The reason for this is probably that Poe based these characters upon himself. Due to the insanity and the conflict with alcohol in the Black Cat and Death in The Pit and the Pendulum. In The Masque of Red Death, however, Prince Prospero was a bit of a stereotype, a rich, careless noble. Overall, however, they are not stereotypes.

    Poe, Edgar. The Pit and the Pendulum. Print.
    Poe, Edgar. The Masque of Red Death. 2. 2010. 347 - 368. Print.

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  15. Poe’s characters are not stereotypical as they are not relatable to any other character in other books. Poe’s way of expressing the thoughts of a person as they descend into madness as madness is unique. For example, in “The Black Cat” the main character’s thoughts/actions are not evident in any other story (by any author) (Poe 127-141). There is no other person in other stories who becomes mad because of alcohol and cats as that would only make sense for Poe’s story. Also, the terms of madness are unique as each one of his characters act differently if they are insane. The narrator in “The Black Cat” slowly becomes violent, while in “The Masque of the Red Death” Prospero almost immediately freaks out when the masked figure comes into the room. Also, Prospero only tries to harm the figure because not one person goes to unmasks him; the narrator in “The Black Cat” harms the cat because it is in his way. In one story the main character sinks to madness because of one event, while the other becomes insane through a series of everyday instances. They are not stereotypical as they are actually quite different in the different stories.

    Works Cited:
    Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Masque of the Red Death." Trans. Array The Works of
    Edgar Allan Poe Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 177-185. Print.
    Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Black Cat". Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe
    Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 127-141. Print.

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  17. Most of the characters that Poe uses are not stereotypical at all. For example, with “The Black Cat”, the narrator started of by saying that he was not insane (Poe 127). It is not stereotypical for an insane person, such as the narrator in “The Black Cat” to try and prove to others that he was not insane. The main character possessed some of the same qualities as other insane people, but Poe really uses his vivid imagination to make him stand out among the rest in his actions (killing his cat and his wife just to say a few) and in his thoughts. Another non stereotypical character was Prince Prospero in “The Masque of the Red Death”. He was not stereotypical because when his people were in a state of crisis with the Red Death consuming the lives of many people, he remained calm brought in 1,000 people who had not been infected with the disease into the safeness of his palace (Poe 177). A normal prince would have only invited in his family and his closest friends, but in this case, he temporarily saved the lives of 1,000 people. He was not arrogant and snobby, and he even showed virtues of kindness.

    Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Masque of Red Death". Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 164-172. Print.

    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Black Cat.” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 127-141. Print.

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  18. No, I do not believe Poe’s characters are stereotypical. It is not in every story where you find a man who commits murder and cuts up the body because of an eye. It is not in every story where you find a man who hangs a cat because of him being drunk (The Black Cat 131). Almost all of Poe’s characters are insane or close to it, and he tries to make you connect with them in some way. For example, maybe something makes you extremely mad when you look at it, like the cat. The pendulum might be a sense of impending doom, like a due date that you are not ready for. In The Tell Tale Heart, the main character still hears the beating heart of his victim (“The Tell Tale heart”). I haven’t read any book in which the main character is not only a murderer, but hears his dead friends heart in the floorboards.This shows that the narrator is tormented by his deed and is going mad over it. However, insanity is a common theme in most of Poe’s work. in Conclusion, Poe’s characters are not stereotypical, but a little stereotypical to him in that most of his characters are insane.

    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Black Cat.” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 127-141. Print
    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Tell Tale Heart” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 254-275. Print

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  19. People in Poes stories are not stereotyped not everyone just goes and hangs cats. That's not something an evil person would do. They would torture someone or try to enslave the world or something bigger than being freaked out by an eyeball or so drunk you cut your cats eye out. People who are mentally insane aren't really stereotyped except for Super villains but those don't exist. People who are mentally ill have different stereotypes depending what they are diagnosed with. Such as someone with bipolar is completely different from someone who is autistic. Also the wife isn't a stereotype just because a cat likes her doesn't mean that she hates dogs or is a cat women. Also a normal women who sees that her cats eye got cut out would say something but she didn't(Poe 147). In conclusion Poe does not use stereotypes.

    Poe, Edgar Allen. Trans. Array. "The Black Cat". The Works of Edgar Allen Poe-Volume 2. Raven Edition. FQ_Books. 2010. 164-172. Print

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  20. Edgar Allan Poe’s characters are stereotypical in the way they act, speak, and react to various stimuli. In the Black Cat, the narrator acts without restraint and often appears to be insane (Black Cat). This action shows that the characters in many of Poe’s stories act based only on emotion and not based on logical reasoning. Poe’s characters are stereotypical in the way they speak as well. Poe’s style is gothic and or romantic and so his characters, like the characters in many other gothic and romantic novels, speak as if there is no hope left for them (Pit and Pendulum) and the world is ending. Poe had a very negative and almost frantic style which was complemented by his excessively negative vocabulary. He wrote in a negative style and with a negative tone because he was in a constantly negative mood due to his failing body and mind (Lecture given to us by guest teacher).

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  21. The characters in Poe’s stories are most definitely not stereotypical. This is because they are all unique in their own special way. A character who exemplifies this is the prince the The Masque of the Red Death. From the very start of the book, he stood out amongst the stereotypical characteristics of princes because when a plague struck his village, he evacuated 1,000 people who were still healthy to a far away castle rather than letting them die(Poe). He genuinely cared about his people, which is not stereotypical of other rulers. Another character who challenged the norm was the main character in the Black cat. There were certain things about this character that just made him stand out in his insanity. For example, when he brutally murdered his cat after he gruesomely cut its eye out does not seem like a very common trait amongst insane people(Poe). Poe was really able to capture the essence of an insane person in his own very creative way. Edgar Allan Poe is an artist with his words, so with his characters, he was able to vividly paint a picture of how different that they truly were.

    Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Masque of Red Death". Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 164-172. Print.

    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Black Cat.” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe- Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 127-141. Print.

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  22. Poe's majority characters were not stereotypical then but Poe made his own type of stereotype, his characters were more "stereotypical Poe." These characters, at the time, were original but now they seem stereotypical because they set the stereotype. There are exceptions in Poe's writing, depending on the character. The king in "The Masque of the Red Death" was not stereotypically POe because he helped his people and wasn't super evil dark guy and we honestly don't know the behavioral patterns of the narrator of "The Pit and the Pendulum." But the character in "The Black Cat" is 'stereotypical' Poe like the narrator of "Tell Tale Heart." So some characters are 'stereotypical' Poe and some are not but they are all original.

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  23. Poe writes a lot of very good complex stories but often the characters were stereotyped. It is generally very hard to write a story with stereotyped characters. In Masque of the Red Death, Poe made “Red Death” the character death. It seems very cliche and very stereotypical. In The Black Cat, Poe made the narrator just an average insane killer. The Murderer had strong intents to kill this animal and almost went crazy over the idea, as most insane killers do. The Pit and The Pendulum victim is very stereotypical. The victim is put into a dark cell with a huge pit and very big swinging pendulum. The man is panicky but also surprisingly calm. The man has a moment of practical thinking and gets free right at the last moment, just like in the movies. He is faced with another problem and just faces the fact that he will die today. In the majority of movies that have a somewhat happy endings, have this same scene. The character faces there death and then is saved. All these stories have brilliant plots and are full of mind bending meanings, but the characters are not very diverse.

    Poe, Edgar Allen. "The Masque of the Red Death." Trans. Array. The Works of Edgar Allen Poe Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 164-172. Print.

    Poe, Edgar Allen. "The Black Cat." Trans. Array. The Works of Edgar Allen Poe Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 127-141. Print.

    Poe, Edgar Allen. "The Pit and The Pendulum." Trans. Array. The Works of Edgar Allen Poe Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 254-275. Print.

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  24. The way I see Poe's characters they aren't very stereotypical. In The Black Cat the main character believe himself to be possessed by a demon (Poe). Many characters that are insane believe themselves to be perfectly sane, which is where Poe's character becomes stereotypical. In the beginning he, the narrator, states that he is sane and everything he is recounting is fact (Poe). Although, in The Pit and The Pendulum the main character, who is our narrator, is locked in a dark cell with little light and a deep round pit in the center. Little did he know there was a pendulum in the room also (Poe). When he is trapped below the pendulum he remains very calm, which is very unlikely seeing as he is near death and most people would be freaking out or too scared to function enough to remain calm the whole time, like he did. This character is very much stereotypical because he is manages to escape the pendulum at the last second. After he has escaped he is faced with an inescapable situation, where seconds before plummeting to his death he is saved, which can be seen as cliché and very stereotypical. Many of Poe’s characters have their stereotypical things about them, as well as things that are not as stereotypical which makes them unique.

    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Black Cat.” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 127-141. Print.

    Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Pit and The Pendulum.” Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 254-275. Print.

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  25. Poe's characters are not stereotypes. Stereotype means to believe unfairly that all people or things with a particular character trait are the same ("Stereotype." Merriam-Webster.). Poe does not unfairly assume anything about anyone. In "The Pit and The Pendulum," the character is just a normal man who is very scared and trying to find a way to escape (Poe, 665). This is not stereotypical because it is not an unfair assumption. It is not demeaning of the character in any way. It is natural to be terrified in a torture experience. In "The Black Cat," a mad man is telling his story (Poe, 385). Although the portrayal of an insane man could have been considered stereotypical, Poe's use of a mad man is not because he gets into the mad man's thoughts and explains everything that is going on. He doesn't just describe the insanity of a mad man, but actually explains why the man is doing what he does. Poe exaggerates the feelings of his characters, but never unfairly assumes something about them because of what they look like. If he does include something that could be considered stereotypical, he explains why that has happened so that it is no longer an issue.

    Works Cited
    Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Black Cat." The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe. Vol. 2. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 358-401. Print.
    Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Pit And The Pendulum." The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe. Vol. 2. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 665-732. Print.
    "Stereotype." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. .

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  26. All of Poe’s stories contain a protagonist (of sorts). Whether he is one who commits murder or tries to escape a situation where he is about to be murdered, all his characters share a stereotype; sorrow and despair. In The Pit and the Pendulum, the main character is confronted first with a dark cell in which he is being kept, then an abyssal pit, then a massive, bladed pendulum, then by scalding hot metal walls. In The Black Cat, the main character (you also rarely learn their names, or if you do, barely hear about the character at all) is absolutely mortified of his cat Pluto to the point that he kills his beloved feline, and then is horrified of his second cat that he gets to try and make up for what he did to Pluto, and when he tries to kill it, he kills his own wife. Also, in The Masque of Red Death, the main character Prospero is trying desperately to keep his richest safe, so he keeps them in the castle and brings them to a party; then, when Red Death gets in, Prospero orders out of despair that someone would kill it, so that no one dies.
    Works Cited
    Poe, Edgar Allan. The Black Cat, Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 248-277.
    Poe, Edgar Allan. The Masque of Red Death, Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 347-365.
    Poe, Edgar Allan. The Pit and the Pendulum, Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 462-508

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  27. Poe’s characters are not stereotypes because Poe is not writing anything offensive, unfair, or stereotypical about the type of people his characters are. For example, Poe incorporates several characters who are mentally ill into his stories and they all express different elements of insanity. In the Black Cat, the narrator claims that he is not insane, that he is only telling a story, and that the readers can choose to believe him or not. He also tells the story from the first person, which allows us to see the narrator’s thoughts and justification of his actions (Poe). Though Poe is using a mentally ill character in his story, he is not portraying it in an offensive way, and though we may not agree with his actions even with the reasons he provides, he is still justifying them. Poe is giving his readers that character’s thought process and reasons behind his actions, but not unfairly portraying him. Like what Kalyani said, Poe also gives the emotions of his characters, and emotions are not stereotypical because everyone experiences them differently. He describes what the characters feel in depth and often does not prejudice or go into extreme detail about their race or mental state. For these reasons, Poe’s characters are not stereotypical.

    Works Cited
    Poe, Edgar Allan. The Black Cat, Trans. Array The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Volume 2. Raven Edition, FQ Books, 2010. 248-277.

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