DECEPTION ... Killing An American Dream
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Even though the narrator loves his roommate, the unnerving eye is too abject, too Other, to live with. One may argue that ageism is a factor within the short story, but there seems to be little, if any, historical evidence of ageism during this time period. By murdering his roommate, the narrator successfully demolishes any hope for the roommate to achieve the American Dream, depriving him of the life guaranteed to him by the Declaration.
The discrimination against him is restrictive, and all hope is lost for both the roommate and the narrator. The narrator thinks of Berenice in irrational terms; how he thinks of Berenice differs from the Berenice he interacts with. While Berenice is fraught with epileptic seizures, Egaeus has a disease of his own: monomania.
This solipsistic tendency is not unknown to the narrator. Egaeus does not contest his monomania; in fact, he confirms it.
Egaeus concerns himself more with the dilapidating body of Berenice than the fact that she will soon perish. He knows her physical beauty will continue to wane as she heads toward her death, and so his fixation upon her teeth makes sense: teeth do not decay. Egaeus can at least, to some degree, keep his irrational vision of Berenice. Then came the full fury of my monomania , and I struggled in vain against its strange and irresistible influence. In the multiplied objects of the external world I had no thoughts but for the teeth.
For these I longed with a frenzied desire. All other matters and all different interests became absorbed in their single contemplation. Poe He may suddenly shriek at the recognition of what he has done, but that shriek is not one of surprise or horror; it is one of happy success. Teeth are necessary in speech production; without them, an individual will essentially become mute. Berenice never says a word within the short story anyway, but the removal of her teeth fully prevents her from doing so.
It is easier to dream of a fantasy-Berenice if the real-Berenice is voiceless. Through the depersonalization and objectification of Berenice, Poe is effectively relating the reader to the American conscious. In this short story, the narrator, fueled by alcohol, hangs his beloved cat and accidentally kills his wife. Similarly, his assertion of sanity suggests insanity. The love for Pluto the cat creates an interesting dialogue of what is human and what is less-than human. Due to his alcoholic tendencies, the narrator fixates upon Pluto, which generates his monomania.
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One morning, in cool blood, I slipped a noose about its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree;—hung it with the tears streaming from my eyes, and with the bitterest remorse at my heart;—hung it because I knew that it had loved me, and because I felt it had given me no reason of offence;—hung it because I knew that in doing so I was committing a sin—a deadly sin that would so jeopardize my immortal soul as to place it…even beyond the reach of the infinite mercy of the Most Merciful and Most Terrible God.
The narrator names reasons for killing Pluto, but the reasons seem irrational. His rationalizations of killing Pluto should actually be reasons for keeping Pluto alive, yet this is not the case. Things turn for the worst when another cat, that looks nearly identical to Pluto, appears. His new fixation is upon this cat, and he eagerly tries to kill him with an axe.
His wife, however, stops the axe. Unfortunately, this narrator buries the cat within the wall, as well. No reaction is given, but his singular fixation and alcohol-induced self-deception are clearly evident within the text.
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This narrative resonates throughout the country, and there underlies the general American conscious. On the surface, Stark is correct; there are no hints within the text that suggest a rational or theological motive behind these murders. Sexism and racism were large, deeply-rooted concepts during this time, and so discrimination against other minority groups was common. He instantly begins associating her with the animals she readily procures for their home. In her death, the narrator successfully cuts off her ability to achieve the American Dream: he takes away her life, gives her no liberty, and eliminates any chance of happiness.
The introduction of the Other cat suggests a strong relationship between it and the wife. The cat and wife, therefore, become one in the same for the narrator. Even though the two become one, the narrator imagines the cat as a hideous brute, an unspeaking Other that pervades his mind and life. In other words, a slave. This correlation appears true when considering both Pluto and this new cat.
Poe is suggesting that the American culture reacts similarly to both women and slaves. In the end, the narrator kills Pluto and his wife, and his murderous actions are nondiscriminatory. The narrator, however, does discriminate against the Other, which includes both women and enslaved black men and women. What occurs within the world, thus, makes its way onto the pages of literary texts. By looking at these cultural traits, the minds of literary characters within this world of madness are at the center to understanding that specific culture.
By looking at these narrators within the context of self-deception and monomania, it becomes ever so clear that they discriminate against someone or something that is abnormal, abject, Other. The duality of the double, a severe, but completely intertwined, division only enhances the comprehension of these narrators. Doubling appears in all three of these works: the narrator and the old man, Egaeus and Berenice, and the narrator and the black cat.
Each of these doublings interacts with the cultural anxiety about minority groups. The narrators actively search for a way to imprison their doubles, eliminating their freedom altogether. The narrators actively search for a way to imprison their doubles, eliminating their freedom altogether. Through this frame, Poe makes an even bigger argument: those who discriminate are truly mad. This madness goes unrecognized for these narrators; they instantly deny any sort of madness, which implies an inherent madness.
Aristotle on the Nature of Community
They are unable to see themselves for who they truly are, and, because of their discriminatory actions, they will never be able to do so. Ahab, in pursuit of the White Whale who dismembered him, can only focus on this monstrous creature. The Whale is ever at the forefront of his mind, and his singular desire is to kill this devil that took his leg. Melville writes:.
Ahab, to that one end, did now possess a thousand-fold more potency than ever he had sanely brought to bear upon any reasonable object. To complete his goal, he must constantly search for Moby-Dick. When the two do meet, however, Ahab does not survive; his quest, though, was explicitly influenced by his crazed obsession. Ahab, however, needs Moby-Dick to survive—he needs the Other, otherwise his life becomes meaningless. Ahab is constantly searching for a way to rid the world of Moby-Dick, this extreme and destructive force of whiteness. By eliminating the White Whale, Ahab would symbolically eliminate white male supremacy, bringing a balance to the world.
Unfortunately, Ahab is unsuccessful in this quest because he himself relies on the hierarchy. Everywhere, citizens of this nation are purposely told a distorted version of the truth by right wing media and left wing opinion makers. These people represent a system that is so evidently rife with corruption, corporatism and social depravity that the immaculate concept of a free nation which our forefathers first envisioned has become blurred beyond recognition. Every so often I wander into Right Wing sites and read articles but when I want to offer an opinion, the comment section is closed.
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The Right Wing sites do not allow voices or links of dissention. Even after several attempts, the filters either discard my opinion or the ones that do get through are immediately attacked by blind followers as Left-Wing Radicalism instead of a point of view to be considered and then intelligently argued. When I write, I look for citations to support my thoughts but even a hyperlink to the Times or Post can no longer be trusted to tell the real facts.
All I can do as a citizen is put onto laptop reasoned deduction through dutiful research of multiple sources and try to distinguish the facts from the deception. All I can do is quote the live feeds from YouTube and even they have in the past, been altered to promote a skewed view. The real news now lies outside the U.
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Like our industry, products are now looked to outside our borders for the best value. For those of you who have been convinced by our corporate media that America is righteous and the Middle East filled with the demons of Muhammad, I offer to you the following excerpt from an Al-Jazeerah website for consideration:. By Mahboob A. After the end of the horrifying human sufferings during the two world wars, the humanity hoped for sustainable peace and human enrichment of co-existence and friendly relations across the globe.