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Poe vs King

silly English midterm
by

Kim Truong

on 1 February 2011

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Transcript of Poe vs King

Edgar Allan Poe Stephen Edwin King VS By Katherine Chan and Kim Truong 1809 - 1849 1947 - Present Biography January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849
Born in Boston, MA
Siblings – Henry and Rosalie
Son of actress Elizabeth Arnold Poe and actor David Poe
Mother died in 1811 – Edgar was 2 when he went to live with Mr. and Mrs. John Allen
He and his siblings were separated.
Soon went to Scotland and England and received a proper education which soon continued in Richmond, VA
Engaged to Elmira Royster before marrying his cousin Virginia Clemm, who was 13 at the time they were married (he was 27)
Joined army under the name of Edgar A. Perry although John Allan soon purchased his release because of the death of his foster mother
In Richmond he found a job as the editor of “The Southern Literary Messenger” where he worked as a critical reviewer
He found this job from a contest he won by using his story, The Manuscript Found in a Bottle.
Soon left his job due to poor salary and traveled to New York City where he wrote The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym
Soon left to Philadelphia in 1838 and wrote Ligeia and The Haunted Place.
New York 1845 – he became an editor of “The Broadway Journal” but was dismissed from the job because the journal ran out of money
His wife Virginia died 10 days after his 38th birthday, causing Poe to go into major stress
October 3rd, 1849 he was taken to the hospital where he lapsed in and out of consciousness
Died in the hospital 4 days later
Mysterious death – alcoholism? Many theories focusing on his death today
Biography Born on September 21, 1947 in Portland, Maine
Parents were Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King
Witnessed his friend die from being struck by a train
This is said to inspire his dark outlook in writing
His parents separated when he was young, his mother took his 2 brothers while he left to live with his father
1958 - Soon reunited with his family in Maine
Attended grammar school in Durham and Lisbon Falls High School, graduated class of 1966
As a young boy, he wrote horror comics and tried to sell them to his friends
Teachers disapproved and forced him to return his profits
Part of the school newspaper and active in student politics as he was part of the Student Senate in college
1971 - Married Tabitha Spruce
1999 – car accident, suffered from a collapsed right lung and fractured his right leg along with a broken hip
Remained in hospital for 3 weeks
Developed a drinking problem that lasted for over a decade
Author of over 200 stories including 50 bestselling horror novels
The Monkey The Black Cat The narrator is an alcoholic who befriends animals – both cats and dogs – because they have affection towards one another that, according to the narrator, humans do not. He owns a pet cat of his own named Pluto. Pluto is a black cat who shows love towards his owner dearly as he follows him around the house and sometimes even makes it difficult for the narrator to have his own individual space. This friendship of several years is soon affected by the narrator’s alcoholism, as he shows violent mood swings and actions towards Pluto. One action involves the gauging of the Pluto’s eye; this act of wrongness causes the narrator to enter a state of perverseness and ultimately hang his own beloved Pluto. On the night Pluto is hanged, the narrator’s home is engulfed in flames; however an impression of the act of Pluto’s hanging is miraculously left on a wall in the burnt home, which causes the narrator to wonder. A few months following Pluto’s death, the narrator welcomes a new cat into the home, only this cat has white fur around its neck in the form of a noose. Being adored by the narrator’s wife, this new cat has welcomed itself home but soon gets on the nerve of the narrator. Towards the end of the short story, the narrator finally bursts and attempts to attack the black cat with an axe, only to miss and hit his own wife instead. To conceal the body, he stuffs her in the walls of his cellar only to lose the black cat believing it has ran away. Police soon arrive only to find nothing suspicious; however as they were about to leave, the narrator comments on the sturdy craftsmanship of the house by tapping on the wall. A sound is heard from behind the wall, causing suspicious upon the police. As they dismantle the wall, the concealment of his wife is revealed along with the black cat rested upon her head. As a young boy, the narrator, Hal Shelburn, came across a toy monkey. The longer he kept this cymbal banging monkey on a shelf in his room, the more he began to notice its supernatural powers. Every time the monkey claps its cymbals together, someone nearby and living would meet a traumatic death. The first person to come to this effect was Hal’s friend, Johnny McCabe, who died from breaking his neck after falling out of a tree house. Soon after, Hal’s babysitter, Beulah, passed away from being shot by her boyfriend. A friend of Hal’s brother Bill also died from a car accident, and Hal’s own mother passed away from brain embolism, which Hal guiltily believed was because of the claps of the toy monkey. The short story returns from many flashbacks of Hal’s childhood to his current life, where he lives with his wife and two young sons. The eldest son, Dennis, found the monkey in the attic. As soon as it came back to Hal’s mind, he immediately took plans to abolish the monkey. There have been numerous attempts at doing so before, but all failed for the monkey continued to somehow return. The younger brother, Petey, came to fear the monkey for its continuous grin. While his mother and brother were out, Petey and his father traveled to a nearby lake called Crystal Lake, to finally put this monkey and its powers to rest. They placed the toy in a bag along with some rocks and dropped it into the lake, only to hear one last clap of its symbols as it sunk down. The next day, a news article appears with news of hundreds of dead fish arising from Crystal Lake. Working with
the Supernatural worked more with the supernatural
power beyond human control "Jang-jang-jang-jang, who's dead? Jang-jang-jang-jang, is it Johnny McCabe, falling with his eyes wide doing his own acrobatic somersault as he falls through the bright summer vacation air with the splintered rung still held in his hands to strike the ground with a single bitter snapping sound, with blood flying out of his nose and mouth and wide eyes? Is it Johnny, Hal? Or is it you?" (166). "Survival of
the Fittest" stories of survival
The Monkey - Hal tries to dispose of the monkey in attempts to protect him and his loved ones "Maybe it can be got rid of. Maybe permanently, maybe just for a while... a long while or short while. Maybe it's just going to come back and come back and that's all this is about... but maybe I - we - can say good-bye to it for a long time. It took 20 years to come back this time. It took 20 years to get out of the well..." (183). The Raft - the college students have trouble figuring out how to reach the shore without being killed by the creature. "And then, tenebrously, his mind whispered: do it anyway. Put her down and swim for it." (The Raft, 297). Developing Suspense Takes longer to build up to the plot of the story
Spends time explaining background information and details
Flashbacks - "The Monkey": Hal refers to horrid moments in the past involving the monkey and the death it had brought upon many of the people in his life. "This time the memory would not be denied. Hal sat there helplessly, letting it come, trying to go with it, to ride it like a surfer riding a monster wave that will crush him if he falls off his board, just trying to get through it so it would be gone again" (165). Perspective speaks in third person throughout the short stories
still focuses on the actions/feelings of the protagonist "When Hal Shelburn saw it, when his son Dennis pulled it out of the moldering Ralston-Purina carton that had been pushed far back under one attic eave, such a feeling of horror and dismay rose in him that for one moment he through he would scream" (160). Perspective Speaks mostly in first person
Perspective of (usually) the victim of insanity "For the most wild, yet most homely narrative for which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not - and very surely do I not dream" (182). "At such times, although I longed to destroy it with a blow, I was yet witheld from doing, partly by memory of my former crime, but chiefly - yet me confess it at once - by absolute dread of the beast" (191). Developing Suspense Dives into the plot right away
Excludes unnecessary information - name, surplus background information
Does not hesitate to jump into the situation quickly "I married early, and was happy to find in my wife a disposition not uncongenial with my own. Observing my partiality for domestic pets, she lost no opportunity of procuring those of the most agreeable kind. We had birds, goldfish, a fine dog, rabbits, a small monkey, and a cat" (183). Simplicity Stories do not involve more than a small number of characters
Not "wordy" "On the night of the day on which this cruel deed was done, I was aroused from sleep by the cry of fire. The curtains of my bed were in flames. The whole house is blazing. It was with great difficulty that my wife, a servant, and myself, made out escape from that conflageration. The destruction was complete. My entire wordly wealth was swallowed up, and I resigned myself thenceforward to despair" (187). Revival Common theme for both authors
"The Black Cat" - Pluto revives in the form of another cat and seeks revenge for its owner after death.
"The Monkey" - Although it has disappeared for over 20 years, the monkey returns from mysteriously being disposed of. "I had approached it, and touched it with my hand. It was a black cat - a very large one - fulyl as large as Pluto, and closely resembling him in every respect but one" (The Black Cat, 189). "He had thrown the monkey down the well in the afternoon ... But ...it had come back. Slowly, Hal covered the well again, as he had on that day, and in his ears he heard the phantom echo of the monkey's cymbals" (The Monkey, 167). Insanity Main characters experience insanity as a result from the constant encounters with the enemy
"The Black Cat" - Narrator suffers from experiencing feelings of perverseness
"The Monkey" - Hal's family notices his change in personality "I had so much of my old heart left, as to be at first grieved by this evident dislike on the part of a creature which had once so loved me. But this feeling soon gave place to irritation. And then came, as if to my final and irrevocable overthrow, the spirit of perverseness" (The Black Cat,186). "Hal shipped the oars to the locks in one quick jerk, leaned forward, inmindful of the wildy rocking boad, and snatched the flight bag. The cymbals made their wild, pagen music; the bag's sides bellowed as if with tenebrous respiration,
'Right here, you sonofawhore!' Hall screamed. 'RIGHT HERE!'" (The Monkey, 194). "Dennis said to his mother, 'Pop's turning into a friggen schhizophrenic.'" (The Monkey, 168). Experience Both authors include aspects related to their life experiences within their stories.
"The Black Cat" - Poe was an alcoholic and the narrator is as well.
"The Monkey" - The best friend of Hal's brother dies of a car accident, King's childhood friend dies from a train accident - coincidence? "My pets, of course, were made to feel the change in my disposition. I not only neglected, but ill-used them. For Pluto, however, I still retained sufficient regard to restrain me from maltreating him, as I made no scruple of maltreating rabbits, the monkey, or even the dog, when by accident, or through affection, they came in my way. But my disease grew upon me - for what disease is like Alcohol! - and at length even Pluto, who was now becoming old, and consequently somewhat peevish - even Pluto began to experience the effects of my ill temper" (The Black Cat, 185). "There had been a car, he said. He and his friend Charlie Siverman were walking home together after the meeting and the car came around Brook Street Corner too fast and Charlie had frozen, Bill had tugged Charlie's hand once but had lost his grip and the car-" (The Monkey, 179). Death Death is a reoccuring theme in stories written by both authors
"The Black Cat" involved the purposely committed death of the narrator's wife
"The Monkey" involved the deaths of many people in Hal's life "Uplifting an axe, and forgetting, in my wrath... I aimed a blow at the animal, which, of course, would have proved instantly fatal had it descended as I wished. But this blow was arrested by the hand of my wife. Goaded, by the intereference, into a rage more demoniacal, I withdrew my arm from her grasp and buried the axe in her brain. She fell dead upon the spot, without a groan" (The Black Cat, 193). Fear Both authors emphasize fear by writing horror stories based off of not so frightening creatures.
"The Black Cat" - A usual harmless cat is tranformed into a beast that drives the narrator into insanity
"The Monkey" - A mere toy haunts Hal's entire life "Pluto - this was the cat's name - was my favorite pet and playmate. I alone fed him, and he attended my wherever I went about the house. It was even with difficulty that I could prevent him from following me through the streets" (The Black Cat, 184). "'I kept wanting to go over there and wind it up. I was so quiet, and I thought, I can't, it'll wake up Daddy, but I still wanted to, and I went over and I . . . I touched it and I hate the way it feels . . . but I liked it, too . . . and it was like it was saying, Wind me up, Petey, we'll play, your father isn't going to wake up, he's never going to wake up at all, wind me up, wind me up ...'" (The Monkey, 182). WHY...? Difference in Time Periods Poe - Formal writing represents his 19th century era
King - Not as formal, with a hint of slang
Both aimed at interesting different audiences
Merge of both history and literature
Make comparisons "Fascinating" - Philedelphia Inquirer "Horrifying" - Chicago Tribune "Gut-wrenching" - Newport News Daily Press "Riviting" - Playboy "Scary" - Kurkis Review "Gripping" - Chicago Sun Times "Frightening" - Cosmopolitan “One can say quite a bit about Stephen King the person; labels are not new to this author, nor are they all that surprising. Yet there is one label that I would apply to Stephen King the writer: Genius.” – Carrington M. Nye “I read The Shining 30 years ago. One of my friends told me it was "a really scary book". Which it was. At the time I had no idea I was embarking on a three decade literary love affair with Stephen King.” – Maureen Thomas “No artist is without fault or flaw. Some of Stephen King's novels that I enjoyed very much were overwritten and filled with flabby, should've-been-edited-out flourishes.” – Matt St. Amand “Stephen King is the quantitative, if not qualitative, leader in the horror genre.” – Tracy Tucker "Hypnotic"
- New York Times Book Review "Terrific"
- USA Today "Unforgettable" - Sanfrancisco Chronicle "The End"
- Katherine Chan
and Kim Truong
Full transcript