Pygmalion

Poe’s Short Stories – “MS. Found in a Bottle” (1833)

Summary An unnamed narrator frames his story by disclaiming connection to his family and country. He says that he prefers the company of the German moralist writers, whose flights of fancy he can detect and repudiate. He admits having a rigidly rational mindset, dedicated to the truth and impervious to superstition. The narrator then recounts …

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Poe’s Short Stories – “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839)

A striking similitude between the brother and the sister now first arrested my attention. . . . (See Important Quotations Explained) Summary An unnamed narrator approaches the house of Usher on a “dull, dark, and soundless day.” This house—the estate of his boyhood friend, Roderick Usher—is gloomy and mysterious. The narrator observes that the house …

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Poe’s Short Stories – “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841)

Summary An unnamed narrator begins this tale of murder and criminal detection with a discussion of the analytic mind. He describes the analyst as driven paradoxically by both intuition and the moral inclination to disentangle what confuses his peers. He adds that the analyst takes delight in mathematical study and in the game of checkers, …

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Poe’s Short Stories – “The Pit and the Pendulum” (1843)

Summary An unnamed narrator opens the story by revealing that he has been sentenced to death during the time of the Inquisition—an institution of the Catholic government in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Spain that persecuted all Protestants and heretical Catholics. Upon receiving his death sentence, the narrator swoons, losing consciousness. When he wakes, he faces complete …

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Poe’s Short Stories – “The Purloined Letter” (1844)

Summary In a small room in Paris, an unnamed narrator, who also narrates “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” sits quietly with his friend, C. Auguste Dupin. He ponders the murders in the Rue Morgue, which Dupin solved in that story. Monsieur G——, the prefect of the Paris police, arrives, having decided to consult Dupin again. …

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