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重点论文网    文科论文    英语论文    论爱伦·坡短篇小说的恐怖艺术
创建时间:12-06

论爱伦·坡短篇小说的恐怖艺术


Contents

Abstract (in Chinese) ……………………………………………………………….i
Abstract (in English)…………………………………………………………...…….ii
Introduction…………………………………………………………………………..1
I. The Morbid Characters Selection-The Core of the Art of Horror……………3
A. Morbid Psychology of the Character...................................................................3
B. Weird Behavior of the Character...........................................................................5
II. The Weird Plot Organization-The Framework of the Art of Horror……… 7
A. Grotesque Incident of the Plot………………………………………..………….7                            

B. Mysterious Suspense of the Plot……………………………………………….8
III. Unrealistic Environment Description-The Support of the Art of Horror...11
A. The Ghastly Natural Environment Description...................................................11
B. The Gloomy Social Environment Description………………………………....12
Conclusion…………………………………..………………….……………………15
Notes………………………………………………………………………………..17
Bibliography………………………………………………..………………….…18

 
摘 要

埃德加·爱伦·坡是美国著名小说家,他累计创作了70多部短篇小说,他颓废与病态的恐怖艺术成就了其文学作品的独特魅力。他的小说在人物塑造、情节刻画及环境描写等各个方面都充满恐怖艺术。本论文将从三个角度分析爱伦·坡小说的恐怖构成因素及其恐怖艺术。病态的人物选择是其恐怖艺术的核心,怪异的情节设置是其恐怖艺术的基本框架,脱离现实的环境描写是其恐怖艺术的依托。本论文分别从故事人物的选择,情节的设置和环境的描写来分析爱伦·坡独特的恐怖艺术。
关键词:恐怖;阴郁;病态

Abstract

Edgar Allan Poe is a famous American writer. In Allan Poe’s short life, he totally created more than 70 short stories. And his unique art style, especially the decadent and morbid art style in his literary works helps him achieve his unique charm. In his short stories, the horror art can be easily observed from its depiction of characters, its organization of plot and its description of environment, etc. This thesis will analyze Allan Poe’s short stories from three angles to reveal the elements which made up the horror of the stories and show the art of Poe’s horror building. The morbid characters selection is the core of his art of horror; the weird plot organization is the framework of his art of horror; the unrealistic environment description is the support of his art of horror. This thesis respectively analyzes Allan Poe’s unique horror art from the characters selection, the plot organization and environment description. 
Key Words: horror; gloomy; morbid

Introduction 

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) is an important romantic writer of America in nineteenth-century. Allan Poe is different from other romantic writers in his same period, and he has a unique position in history of American literature. Edgar Allan Poe is a controversial literary figure. It is partly because of his eccentric and unreasonable behaviors. In his small number of poems and short stories which are full of distinct morbid state and decadent sentiment and they are utterly different from the main American literatures. As time goes by, more and more critics find Poe is a great literary talent and has a great influence on other writers. Poe is such a unique writer that both he and his works are worthy to be studied from different points of view.
Most of Allan Poe’s works are always covered with the shadow of horror. Horror is an important style of Poe’s works. And his unique art style, especially the decadent and morbid art style in his literary works helps him achieve his unique charm. In his short stories, the horror art can be easily observed from the morbid characters, the wired plots, the themes of death and the description of environment, etc. Allan Tate said “Everything in Poe is dead: the houses, the rooms,the furniture,to say nothing of nature and of human beings.” (1) And Erich Heller sees Poe’s psychological fiction as a vast and originally contribution to the discovery and colonization of the mind. D. H. Lawrence treats Poe’s stories as the disintegrating process of the soul. And the professor Liang Yaping says “Allan Poe created the themes of morbid love, omnipresent death, transient beauty, decadence and horror. Death always accompanies him in his poems and stories. His interest is mainly in the people’s mind where he created a fancy and horrible world.” (2) David Grantz thinks that “Edgar Allan Poe’s real achievement in literature lies in the charm of horror embodied by his short stories. All elements of a piece of writing work harmoniously toward an intended effect, unique style, precise wording, concise word, thrilling and grotesque plot and constructed atmosphere, through which the charm of horror is reflected.” (3)
This thesis will study the horror art which bases on the analysis of the morbid characters selection, the weird plot organization, and the unrealistic environment description of Edgar Allan Poe’s works to tell readers the horror characteristic of Poe’s short stories. In the first place, it will analyze that Allan Poe chose the morbid character as the hero of his stories. This thesis will specifically analyze the characters from the morbid psychology and the weird behavior. And the morbid characters selection is the core of Poe’s art of horror. In the second place, it will analyze that Allan Poe sets the weird plots to improve the function of horror. At the same time, this thesis will specifically analyze the plot from the grotesque incident choosing and the mysterious suspense setting. And the weird plot organization is the framework of Poe’s art of horror. At last, it will analyze that Allan Poe describes the unrealistic environment to set the tone of horror. Except this, the thesis will specifically analyze the ghastly natural environment description and the gloomy social environment description. And the unrealistic environment description is the support of Poe’s art of horror. This thesis will mainly use several representative stories to analyze the horror art, such as The Black Cat, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Cask of Amontillado, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, and The Man of the Crowd. 


I. The Morbid Characters Selection-The Core of the Art of Horror

A. Morbid Psychology of the Character 
In Allan Poe’s horror fiction, most of the characters have psychiatric problems or morbid psychology. The choosing of Allan Poe’s pathological character is just the core of his horror stories. For people who have problems with their mental world, the ways of their thinking are different from ordinary people. So their motive of behavior is not easy to be understood by common people. The existence of morbid mind for other normal people is the potential threat. Because normal people can not understand morbid people’s crime motive and they are easily becoming an aim which the morbid offenders want to attack. Even people make a small error, maybe for the morbid offender, which is the reason to die. In the stories, the setting of morbid people will increase factors of instability during the story development, thus it makes the readers feel horror from inner heart.
In Allan Poe’s opinion, describing a common offender out of property or other social reasons to crime is not interesting. Because this kind of story is well- known by people and lack of mystery, thus, it will lose artistic glamour. Therefore, the crime desires in Poe’s fiction is just out of a mysterious morbidity. And Poe is good at describing this kind of morbid psychological level. Allan Poe uses the calm objective brushwork to describe the narrator’s abnormal psychology of the murder. Not just uses ugly depicting and disgusting spectacle, but details to stress the horror atmosphere. So Poe’s stories full of horror which comes from the soul. It is different from other horror fictions, which just set outside events to express the horror. 
In The Black Cat, the narrator kills the black cat and his wife without any reasonable motives and reasons. Like the narrator says that hang it because he knows that it has loved him before, and because he feels it has given him no reason of offence, hang it because he knows that in so doing he is committing a sin-a deadly sin that will jeopardize his immortal soul. And the only reason that he kills the cat is to offer violence to its own nature which does wrong for the wrong’s sake only. After kills the cat, he defends himself that “Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a silly action, for no other reason than because he knows he should not?” (4) And “Have we not a perpetual inclination, in the teeth of our best judgment, to violate that which is law, merely because we understand it to be such?” (5)The narrator looks his morbid psychology as a normal mental state; he thinks everyone will have such an idea. Through these sentences, the readers can find that the narrator is not a normal person. The narrator kills the black cats, the act is out of this unexplained inclination, just because he knows the cat loves him, he thinks this cat not offend him, and he knows that is crime. 
 

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