Theme Analysis of 3 Stories from Poe Essay

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Poe's treatment toward the power differential theme in "Metzengerstein", "The Tell-Tale Heart", and "Hop Frog" all deal with the son like characters attempt to rise from the shadows of the father figure. Poe first categorizes each characters position by pointing out their weaknesses and strengths. Then Poe develops the uprising of the son like characters against the father figures all fail to triumph at the end because they fail to keep the dead buried. Except in Hop Frog where he overcomes and breaks free from the constraints of the dominant figure, the King.

In each story Poe introduces the characters weaknesses and strengths establishing the protagonist's fear of being overshadowed by the father figure's power. In "Metzengerstein",
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Then as Fredrick observes the horse in the tapestry he it seems as it becomes alive with "human expression." Fredrick becomes "stultified with terror" that the horse might return to avenge Wilhelm's death. Soon afterward Fredrick takes in a black horse that was found by the fire and possessed by Wilhelm's spirit. Fredrick tries to prove his dominance over spirit by persistently trying to ride and tame the horse, but fails to do so. In the end Fredrick fails to conquer the superior character because Fredrick (horse) rides him into the fire where he meets his doom. In "The Tell Tale Heart" again we see the son like character possessing a primary impulse to overthrow and show his dominance over the father figure. The narrator feels inferior to the old man because his eye. The old man's eye could represent authority always looking upon the servant or tenant. The narrator tries to prove his dominance over the old man in many occasions. The first was when he watched over the old man for seven nights before he killed him on the eighth night. He then became the observer instead of the observed making him "feel the extent of his own powers-of his sagacity" and "a feeling of triumph." He feels this way only until he spots the eye, which "chilled the very marrow of his bones" making him once again feel inferior. Then he kills the old man and even toward the old man's death the servant or tenant had

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