A new side of Edgar Allan Poe is shown in his short story, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue". This short story fits the definition of Romanticism because it uses a great deal of imagination and emotion. It relates to Dark Romanticism in that it uses a great deal of grotesque images and a very odd ending. "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" can relate to Poe's life because the short story is kind of twisted and full of surprises just like Poe's life. This short story can also relate to "The Pit and the Pendulum because they both have surprise endings. Edgar Allan Poe portrays a new way of writing in the Dark Romantic style with his short story, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue".

"The Murders in the Rue Morgue" relate to Dark Romanticism in many ways. The two women who live in the house on Rue Morgue both die a terrible and horrific death.

"Of Madame L'Espanaye no traces were here seen; but an unusual quantity of soot being observed in the fire-place, a search was made in the chimney, and (horrible to relate!) the corpse of the daughter, head downward, was dragged therefrom; it having been thus forced up the narrow aperture for a considerable distance. The body was quite warm. Upon
examining it, many excoriations were perceived, no doubt occasioned by the violence with which it had been thrust up and disengaged. Upon the face were many severe scratches, and, upon the throat, dark bruises, and deep indentations of finger nails, as if the deceased had been throttled to death" (Poe, "The Murders").

This paragraph shows how disgusting and grotesque the murders in the rue morgue were. They clearly show signs of Dark Romanticism because there are many dark and terrible things that happened to the women (Dark Romanticism). For example, the daughter was thrust up the chimney after being choked the death. The chimney was not big enough to fit a human in, and it took several men to get the girl out (Poe, "The Murders").

"We must not judge of the means," said Dupin, "by this shell of an examination. The Parisian police, so much extolled for acumen, are cunning, but no more. There is no method in their proceedings, beyond the method of the moment. They make a vast parade of measures; but, not unfrequently, these are so ill adapted to the objects proposed, as to put us in mind of Monsieur Jourdain's calling for his robe-de-chambre --pour mieux entendre la musique. The results attained by them are not unfrequently surprising, but, for the most part, are brought about by simple diligence and activity. When these qualities are unavailing, their schemes fail. Vidocq, for example, was a good guesser, and a persevering man. But, without educated thought, he erred continually by the very intensity of his investigations. He impaired his vision by holding the object too close. He might see, perhaps, one or two points with unusual clearness, but in so doing he, necessarily, lost sight of the matter as a whole. Thus there is such a thing as being too profound. Truth is not always in a well. In fact, as regards the more important knowledge, I do believe that she is invariably superficial. The depth lies in the valleys where we seek her, and not upon the mountain-tops where she is found. The modes and sources of this kind of error are well typified in the contemplation of the heavenly bodies. To look at a star by glances --to view it in a side-long way, by turning toward it the exterior portions of the retina (more susceptible of feeble impressions of light than the interior), is to behold the star distinctly -- is to have the best appreciation of its lustre --a lustre which grows dim just in proportion as we turn our vision fully upon it. A greater number of rays actually fall upon the eye in the latter case, but, in the former, there is the more refined capacity for comprehension. By undue profundity we perplex and enfeeble thought; and it is possible to make even Venus herself vanish from the firmanent by a scrutiny too sustained, too concentrated, or too direct (Poe, "The Murders").

This quote, although long, does a good job of portraying a different definition of Romanticism. This quote shows the deep thought process that the character, Dupin, uses in solving the mystery. This is a characteristic of Romanticism because Romanticists used a different kind of thought process than Rationalists (Romanticism). Rationalists would look at the murder and say that it is unsolvable because they cannot fully understand the odd and different ways that the murder could have been commited. Romanticists, on the other hand, tend to think more about the different ways that things can be done (Romanticism).

"The Murders in the Rue Morgue" can relate to Poe's life because it is full of twists and turns, just like his life. Poe's childhood is full of turmoil when his parents die, and he has to leave school because he cannot pay for it anymore (Biography). He then enlists in the army and then gets dismissed. He marriages were also full of difficulties because none of them really ended very well (Biography). These facts can relate to "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" because the short story has weird little facts in it, just like Poe's life. Some examples of the weird little facts would be how oddly and gruesomely the women were killed, and who the killer is (Poe, "The Murders").

"The Murders in the Rue Morgue" can relate to "The Pit and the Pendulum" in a few ways. Both stories are of the Dark Romantic genre. Both stories have very disgusting and grotesque uses of imagery. For example, in "The Pit and the Pendulum", rats run up and crawl all over the main character (Poe, "The Pit"). Some the rats start to bit him, and one goes into his mouth for a little bit. The main character cannot get away because he is tied down to a chair in a torcher chamber (Poe, "The Pit"). One last relationship between the two stories is that they both have a surprising ending. The killer in "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is a complete surprise, and how the main character in "The Pit and the Pendulum" lives or dies is very suprising (Poe, "The Pit", "The Murders").

In writing "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", Edgar Allan Poe makes a new name for himself as a writer. He will always be remembered for writing "The Raven" and "The Fall of the House Usher", but Poe has made a new name for himself in being one of the first American writers to write about a great mystery (Biography). Poe has influenced many different mystery stories, one of these being Sherlock Holmes (Biography). Once again, like many of his other writings, Poe has managed to baffle all of the readers with the amazing way he can capture and pull the readers into his stories. In my opinion, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is one of the best short stories I have ever read.

-Caroline Shaw
A4 332 Honors English

Works Cited:

"Dark Romanticism" Obscure Wonders. 2007. http://hem.passagen.se/hehe/what_is_dark_romanticism.htm.

"Biography". PoeStories.com.:An Exploration of Short Stories by Edgar Allan Poe. Design215 Inc. 2005.

Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Murders in the Rue Morgue". PoeStories.com.:An Exploration of Short Stories by Edgar Allan Poe. Design215 Inc. 2005. http://poestories.com/read/murders.

Poe, Edgar Allen. "The Pit and the Pendulum." Glencoe Literature. Comp. Jeffrey Wilhelm. American Literature.Ed. Columbus: McGraw-Hill. 2010. 263-273. Print.

"Romanticism". A Guide to the Study of Literature: A Companion Text for Core Studies 6, Landmarks of Literature.
English Department, Brooklyn College. 2009. http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/cs6/rom.html.