28 pages 56 minutes read

Edgar Allan Poe


Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1835

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Important Quotes

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“Misery is manifold.”

(Page 333)

The story begins with a short sentence that uses alliteration to evoke a feeling that the noun and adjective are truly equal and highly interrelated. The tone is confident and commanding, setting up the expectation that this assertion will be proven true by the story. The concept of misery as a varied and diverse experience is represented by Egæus’s fixation on teeth, a common object that would not cause feelings of fear or distress for most other people.

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“The realities of the world affected me as visions, and as visions only, while the wild ideas of the land of dreams became, in turn,—not the material of my every-day existence—but in very deed that existence utterly and solely in itself.”

(Page 333)

The narration uses a parallel structure in order to show how Egæus’s mind inverts what is considered normal. Reality and dreams are reversed for him, and he feels that he lives entirely within his own dreams and ideas. He spends most of his time in his house’s library, and this setting emphasizes how he is surrounded by fantasies and imaginary creations, rather than living in the real, outdoor world that Berenice prefers.