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The outcasts of the world

Author FangYing
Tutor WangHuaXue
School Shandong Normal University
Course Comparative Literature and World Literature
Keywords Poe short story psychology of abandoned son unbosoming and curing
Type Master's thesis
Year 2002
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Bernard Shaw once claimed: "There are two great writers in America 桬dgar Allen Poe and Mark Twain" . No one will query Mark Twain* s position in the history of American literature, while Allen Poe is still a controversial literary figure. It is partly because of his eccentric and unreasonable behavior. In his small number of poems and short stories, there are full of distinct morbid state and decadent sentiment, which are utterly different from the main American literature. Poe was demoted by his contemporary and he remained obscure all his life, even for a long time after his death. As time goes by, more and more critics have found Poe’ s literary talent and his influence on other writers. Poe is such a unique writer that both he and his woks are worthy to be studied from different points of view. This thesis emphasizes on explaining the inverse value such as ’terror, weirdness in psychological way, and hence make an evaluation.Part one is about Poe’ s identity orientation and creative psychology analysis on two sides: home and society in the light of psychology. Writer’ s state of mind is always reflected in his creation. Due to different identities, writers would have various psychology and their main identities would have decisive function in their creation. Poe had a miserable life. He lost his parents when he was a child, then he was taken care of by his foster father without legal procedure. Later Poe broke with his foster father thoroughly and became an abandoned son again. In society, Poe was also like an abandoned son who was demoted by others. In a word, Poe was an out-and-out abandoned son. Most psychologists think that the childhood experience especially the mental scars always has great influence on the writer’ s personalities and creation .The writer who had experienced bitter emotion would be likely dejected. All the mental agony, such as sentimental, solitary and self-abased, which is smoldered in bosom will stimulate the writers to create fictions underunconsciousness. To Poe, the abandoned son, the mental scar became so important that it is the key to understand his creation especially his short stories as a psychology factor.Part two is about the psychology of abandoned son described in Poe’ s works. Solitary is the keynote penetrated in his stories of various subjects. It is not only one important subject, but also the portrayal of specific background and figure’ s basic being. Dread is probably the soul of Poe’ s works , which made the readers moved and shocked deeply. One who is always in solitary and dread tends to feel anxious and become despair. These also embodied in Poe’ s works intensely.Part three is about the inverse value in Poe’ s writing. Solitary, dread, anxiety and despair is the unintentional reflection of Poe’ s psychology, while the inverse value is his conscious selection. This is mainly shown as strong dream color, the subject of death, evil of human nature and fantastic aesthetic style.Part four is about the value and significance of Poe’ s creation. It is said that Poe’ s stories plot is too single and has no deeply meaning. However, these stories have attracted many readers and the critics’ attention. In the light of psychology, literature can unbosom and cure one’ s mental agony. According to this view, Poe’ s creation has the function of ease his and the readers’ mental agony.For a long time, the study of Allen Poe and his creation has been ignored in our country. Restricted to material and my research ability, there is unavoidable superficiality and contradiction. I hope it will be made up in my future study.

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