Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Steven Stone American Literature "" Mr. Kay September 7, 2000 Summer Reading Essay Poe's People Edgar Allen Poe was a man that was intrigued by the complexity of the human psyche and he delved into the depths of the human mind in his stories. In fact, many of his stories were set in the minds of the protagonists such as "The Black Cat", "The Telltale Heart", and "The Pit and the Pendulum". Poe characters depicted his philosophy of human nature in these stories. He viewed humans as a very vengeful group, a group that seeks to alleviate obstacles in such a manner that the humans actually make the problems more difficult to deal with, a group that often causes their own demise through their guilt, and also as a very perverse group, that delights in doing things that are inherently wrong or evil simply because they know they should not.

Humans are very vengeful. For example, in the tale of "The Cask of Amontillado" Montresor, the narrator sought revenge on Fortunado because Fortunado insulted him. Montresor's family motto illustrated a policy favoring vengeance, "Nemo me impune lacessit" or, "No one assails me with impunity". Montresor derived pleasure from his revenge and felt no remorse for it. He wanted Fortunado to know what was being done to him. Poe clearly illustrates the vengefulness of the human kind in many of his stories.

In "The Masque of the Red Death", Poe showed that Human Happiness, represented by Prince Prospero, tried to "wall" out death. Unfortunately, these efforts are futile. Happiness cannot stop the inevitable. Death comes "like a thief in the night"(47), even those who seek "peace and safety"¦shall not escape".

In "The Telltale Heart" and "The Black Cat", two different men shared one...