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Wednesday, April 26 • 9:20am - 9:40am
The Search For Identity: Narrative Projection In The Works Of Edgar Allan Poe

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My thesis will examine character doubles in “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Cask of Amontillado” as a way for individuals to critically question the reality in which they exist. This then leads to a deeper understanding of the world within which the reader interacts daily. When analyzed through a psychoanalytic perspective, both stories provide insight in regard to how narrators construct a second reality in order to then destroy it. Thus, I argue that the narrators of both stories establish character doubles in order to project their undesirable traits onto the characters as a means of revival for the narrators themselves. This project will explore the social and political implications of doubling as a means of catharsis for both the narrators, the reader, and Poe himself. Examining Poe’s work through a psychoanalytic lens reveals his intention for the reader to think critically and live in a state of perpetual questioning. I will consider how questioning the status quo results in a constantly changing paradigm of the reader’s place in society, which then leads to the reader being able to view and overcome societal norms in an innovative manner.


Wednesday April 26, 2017 9:20am - 9:40am
232 Karpen Hall