Edgar Allen Poe Narrative Authors use forms of syntax, diction, imagery, tone, and argument to illustrate the point and feel that they want to get across to the reader. In this narrative, Edgar Allen Poe uses elements in his narrative to argue that although what he has experienced might not be so horrible in another’s eyes, it has destroyed him. He uses syntax and diction to describe the rest of his narrative, and to reinforce his statements, which seems to contrast another when he states that this narrative will be ‘wild, homely, and terrible’- giving the reader a feel of exaggeration- but also he states that what he says will be ‘plain and succinct’- the truth. There is a sign of insecurity, confusion, and disbelief in this passage, from the author himself, as he states that he does not expect anyone to believe what he says for even his own “senses reject their own evidence.” This idea is expanded upon in the third sentence as Poe use specific styles of syntax to illustrate his own disbelief. Two styles are seen when he states “Yet, mad am I not- and surely do I not dream.” Poe constructs the wording of this sentence backwards- instead of I am not mad, it’s mad am I not- showing a contradiction to what the sentence says. Wording the sentence backwards makes the reader think the opposite of what the sentence actually says; he is mad, he is dreaming.
Signs of disbelief are again shown by this unique sentence structuring for when you read the sentence, it sounds more like a question than a statement- do I not dream? Poe’s use of syntax and diction continues on as he illustrates how his unbelievable horrors might just seem normal to a more ‘calm and logical person’. The whole style of the passage, although showing the contradiction of Poe saying the narrative to be horrific to him stating that it might be “baroque” to normal people, gives the reader a feel that Poe isn’t normal. This whole style of writing the passage captures the reader’s attention in the beginning but settles them down at the end with logical appeals making them believe to Poe’s argument. Explicit imagery is shown as Poe pops out abstruse adjectives which give the readers a personal slide show of the possible horrors that tormented him. The first line gives an image of something that is unbelievable and horrible. The following sentences makes Poe look like a mental case for he’s experienced events that even his “senses reject evidence”; he doesn’t even know if he is mad or if he is dreaming; evidence of his past is a blur, and it makes the reader view him as a trauma case; someone that is not normal.
Although the images of Poe being mental and abnormal stays, his is demystified a bit when he presents logic in saying that others might not see his experiences as being so horrible. The crazy images settle down a bit towards the end of the passage, setting the reader up for the idea that he is not a normal person (which will soon help in his argument). The tone and feel of the narrative is often strange, for he was a strange man. A feeling of exaggeration, disbelief, and credibility comes up as the undertone backs up this contradiction when he both credits and discredits himself through out the passage.
Poe switches from being an exaggerator that’s unsure of himself, to being a pretty unbiased and logical person. You can see his exaggerations as he says that he’s going to die tomorrow and that the events he’s seen have “tortured and terrified” him; Poe is trying to separate him from the normal. The tone at the beginning seems very wild and dramatic as he depicts an almost fictional monologue. Soon, however, the image of a mental case is dampened a bit when he uses logic to appeal to those skeptical intellects that thinks what ever he says not worth reading for he is a drama queen.
He sees the point of others, the normal, that his accounts might not be too bad as it seems. The tone is calmer, and even Poe himself says that his accounts might be just seen as phantasm to others. As the tone suddenly changes, Poe gets ready to argue his main point. The main point of this passage is for Poe argues that although these events might not seem horrible to some, it has destroyed and changed his life. Poe uses a style of argument that doesn’t just flat out say that the others are wrong, he looks at the oppositions view of things and point out their good points.
This style of arguing brings a more unbiased tone to his position. Poe sees that he might be a drama queen to others with his phantasms, but he is not like the others. Poe creates an image of him being a black sheep, someone that’s not normal, and someone that is disturbed in the beginning of the passage. Why? So that he can use this in his argument. He is not a normal person; small unfortunate events perceived by others might be seen as a horrible disaster to Poe. He’s psyche will be affected differently in events that might not even bother normal people for he is different.
At the end Poe seems to not be a mental case, but a persuasive genius that will show to others how normal, baroque events destroyed his life.