The idea of a completely reliable narrator is quite a questionable subject, since we are all unreliable when it comes to telling our own stories, hence, as the term ‘omniscient’ suggests, the reliable narrator must […]
‘Come on, get up! Wake up, come on, it’s started again! Move! Let’s go!’
The blast shook the house. Mother pulled me out of the bed and down the stairs, clutching my sister in her arms.
We stopped in the stairwell. There was a short stretch of terrace we needed to run through in order to reach the cellar door. We waited, then started running between two blasts. She held me tightly behind her and shoved me inside the cellar, where another stairwell led us deep under ground, into the dark. We were already safe when we heard the third blast. My aunt appeared at the bottom of the stairs. The candle in her hand cast a shivering light entrenched in shadows. We went down. I was still dazed from sleep. Wasn’t this supposed to be over? How will I go to school tomorrow? Why did they start again? I could not ask anything out loud. Instead, I looked at the bleak expressions of the adults around me standing in a half circle around a couple of burning candles. My great-uncle met my gaze and read the fear.
Throughout his work Edgar Allan Poe is guided by the idea explained in his “Philosophy of Composition” where he says that the best inspiration for the most poetical melancholy is found in “the death of a beautiful woman” and “equally it is beyond doubt that the lips best suited for such topic are those of a bereaved lover.” Poe’s famous ladies, Annabel Lee, Lenore, Eleonora, Berenice, Ligeia, Morella, Madeline, are the means for his presentation of this theme in his tales and poems where, in the words of Floyd Stowall, “through loneliness, mystery and terror we are led from the idea of beauty to the idea of death, the ultimate solace for pain. This association of death and beauty accounts for nearly all that is most characteristic in Poe’s poetry.”