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4. Man of the Crowd - Edgar Allan Poe

Appunti esaustivi e sufficienti al superamento dell'esame di Lingue e Culture Angloamericane di Roberto Cagliero, presi a lezione, sul testo di Edgar Allan Poe "Man of the Crowd". Università degli Studi di Verona - Univr. Scarica il file in formato PDF!

Esame di Lingue e Letteratura Angloamericana docente Prof. R. Cagliero




Edgar Allan Poe

It's a short story by Poe, where the main theme is the city (also Henry James wrote a lot about cities, so we

compare this 2 writing). It's a very intersting story because it's one of the most psychological that Poe has


• Poe spent a lot of time in the south of the US, in Virginia, he spent some time also in the neighbour

of the Bronx, in NY, and he visited many times big cities such as Baltimora, Philadelphia,

Washington, and so on. So he managed to witness the changes that this cities underwear, from the

external point of view but also from an emotional point of view.

Idea of the CROWD


At the end of 19 century (14 years after he wrote the story) a french scolar wrote "the psycology of the


− th

Crowd: It begins to be very important at the beginning of the 20 century, and the majour European

dictators, like Hitler and Mussolini, read this book because it was the first studies in crowd

psycology, regarding how people behave.

− Man of the Crowd: takes place in a city, the narrator is recoring from illness and sitting in front of a

house, maybe he's in a cafè, ad he looks people passing by and begins to recover the sense of energy


that comes from the living in a city, which is a common thing in the throughout the 20 century (one

of the slogans used for NY was "the City that never sleeps" – the idea of the city where you can find

everything, everywhere and at anytime of the day and of the night). th

The issue of the CROWD it's seen by Poe (while writing in the first half of the 19 century) as the relation

between the undividual and the group, but it's also a reflection of crowding (= un'affollamento).

What happens in a situation of crowding?

The idea of crowding is the idea of psycological compression underneath: when you are in a close contact

with other people, yours and others sense of identity seems to suffer, they don't recognize themselves

anymore (crowd and psycological compression goes together).

In Poe's idea

Poe was very much individualist, he belived in genious so he was not so democratic. He thought that there

was a big difference between people who are genious and people who lived a common life.

One of his most famous character is a French Investigator – August Dupin – who's the protagonist of 3 short

stories: The Purloined Letter (la lettera rubata), The Murders of the Rue Morgue and The Mistery of Marie

Rogèt. These 3 stories have a very tentral relevance in the history of American Literature because they were

the first 3 detectives stories of that time; they are considered the 3 stories that begun the genre of the

detectives stories and Dupin is the first detective.

There are some interesting characteristics of what we're talking about in Dupin:

− He's an Aristocrate.

− He's an Intellectual Man.

− He's a mathematics, a scientists and an humanist.

− He doesn't belong to the police (one of the major point in detective novel, because detectives are

always people who doesn't work for governement, they solve criminals cases out of some intellectual

curiosity; they do it because solving cases is a way to train and developpe their intelligents, their

own sensibility).

Dupin, in these 3 stories, managed to solve these cases by reasoning.

At the beginnings of the story he lives into an old-fashioned house in Paris, with a friend who will be like

Watson (aiutante – the Friend is also the Narrator).

Dupin spend most of the time at home, he keeps windows shuttered and he spend most of the time readind,

but during the night he became active: he walks around Paris with his friend (the Narrator) – they talk with

each other and Dupin develops philosophical theories and, most important, he solves criminal cases ( "the

Purloined Letter" is the most famous).




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+1 anno fa

Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea in lingue e culture per il turismo e il commercio internazionale
Università: Verona - Univr
A.A.: 2017-2018

I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher Rizzato Giulia di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di Lingue e Letteratura Angloamericana e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università Verona - Univr o del prof Cagliero Roberto.

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Altri appunti di Lingue e letteratura angloamericana

2. The Fall of the House of Usher - Edgar Allan Poe
3. The Jolly Corner - Henry James
Letteratura e Cultura Italiana