ABSTRACT. Poe seems to have punished himself in real life by means of drug and alcohol abuse and episodic paranoia, delusion and confusion were allegedly frequent in his existence. Similarly to their creator, his narrators and characters reflect the torments from Poe’s personal life but, this time, they are exposed in the text: the anonymous hero of “The Pit and the Pendulum” is being punished and thrown into a dungeon where his nerves are stretched to the limit and he deteriorates into a state of thin, subtle terror, Egaeus loses grip on reality and extracts his wife’s teeth while she is in a cataleptic state, Roderick Usher suffers from an irritability of the nerves, and the list could continue. However, the visual character of the Poesque universe resides in the so called “psychal impressions” when the world is looked at through the half-closed eye, a procedure that permits objects to change shape or appearance and this is perhaps Poe’s way of expressing his feelings and thoughts and of dealing with what life repeatedly had to offer him: suffering, disease, loss and sorrow. pp. 26–30

Keywords: torments; disease; disorder

Mihaela Prioteasa
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University of Craiova, Romania
Laurentiu Mogoanta
University of Craiova School of Medicine, Romania

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