• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Essay - The Imp of the Perverse

Extracts from this document...


Essay - The Imp of the Perverse Discuss the key elements of character, language and theme of "the Imp of the Perverse" Refer to at least one other story in the course of your response. "The Imp..." is a story that demonstrates on many levels the theme of Perversity. It begins with a very impersonal, discursive tone, examining humanity's tendency to be perverse in the style of a metaphysical essay. The language here deliberately unsettles the reader with its use of rhetorical questions and superfluous repetitions: "If we cannot comprehend God in his visible works, how then in his inconceivable thoughts, that call the works into being? If we cannot understand him in his objective creatures, how then in his substantive moods and phases of creation?" Here, the unnamed narrator speculates philosophically whether humans should look at the world, and the nature of the human condition (including that of perversity), from a fixed viewpoint, or a priori, this being religion. ...read more.


The repetition used here also connotes a possible insanity in the narrator, another recurring device used by Poe (c.f. "tell-tale heart"). Another possible idea present, at the opening of the story is that of the narrator's alienation with the rest of the world. He has no real relationships with anyone, and seems a very lonely, solitary character. This is apparent In the use of violent diction, portraying the self-image of the 'individual versus society'; for example with the use of words like "combativeness", "force" and "self-defense" all give the idea that the narrator is full of hostility and cynicism with regards to the rest of the world. The theme of perversity, in relation to common ideals on morality is challenged towards the end of the story. Prior to this, perversity is portrayed as something that decidedly leads to 'bad' things happening: particularly murder. ...read more.


Both stories try to convey the sense that they fully know what they intended to do, and put their own lack of motives down to perversity, the idea that they committed the murders because they knew they should not. A possible contrast with the stories is that the ideas about perversity are more coherently expressed by "the Imp..." narrator. In addition, both narrators are depicted as insane, above all through the characteristic repetition attributed to the language of both characters: "Repeating, in a low undertone, the phrase, 'I am safe.'"; "I foamed --I raved --I swore! ... It grew louder --louder --louder!" Also, ironically it is through the self-destructive nature of each characters' perversity that they are compelled to confess. In conclusion, I have discussed the interrelated ideas of character, theme and language in "the Imp..." and expressed how these elements contributed to the events of the story and their effects on the reader. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Carol Ann Duffy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Carol Ann Duffy essays

  1. Compare and contrast Shakespeare and Defoe's presentations of the characters of Robinson Crusoe and ...

    Slavery featured no less in the society in which Shakespeare wrote 'The Tempest', thus it is also found within the play. Just as Crusoe is established by Defoe as a master of others, Shakespeare's play features a protagonist, Prospero, possessing two slaves, Caliban and Ariel.

  2. In the writing of Edgar Allan Poe, we see investigations into abnormal psychological states ...

    Furthermore, both narrators deliberately adopt strategies which will not betray their real intentions towards their victims. Their hypocritical smiles and warmth towards their intended victims , when in their hearts they are plotting to murder them , make the scenario acutely unnerving to read.In TTH, the narrator "was never kinder

  1. A comparison of Arkady and Bazarov, from Turgenevs Fathers and Sons

    Bazarov respects no one and, regardless of others, always speaks his mind. While Bazarov is the more 'emancip�' of the two, it is Arkady who has the advanced viewpoint in regard to women. He easily accepts them as people with their own opinions and believes that they need to be treated with as much respect as their masculine counterparts.

  2. Social outsiders are often treated in a cruel and unjust way. Explore the presentation ...

    This shows that even Heathcliff is their neighbour, Mr. Linton still thinks of him worse because he was just found in the streets instead of being born in Wuthering heights. Heathcliff was convicted of robbery, even thought he was just amusing himself with Catherine. Isabella Linton describes him as a "son of the fortune-teller, that stole my tame pheasant."

  1. Write a character study of Celie, Albert, and Shug.

    He was the kind of man that makes people laugh, not beat them and make them cry. He used to be a very good dancer and a pleasant person to be with. We see some part of this in him when he is with Shug and sometimes with Grady, Shug's husband.

  2. 'It is possible to defend the idea that Satan is the true hero of ...

    'Her ruin' shows Satan's intentions, and gives Eve tainted imagery. When he describes her 'with ravishment beheld' and approaches her 'erect', there is an erotic and aggressive undertone that is given to Satan's approach. The degeneration of Satan in Book IX is reinforced by Milton with visual images ('rising mist').

  1. The theme of the Gothic in Rebecca

    that is used to describe Manderley and her grounds are written with such passion that the experience could only come from the writer herself: 'The drive wound away in front of me, twisting and turning as it had always done...'

  2. How Edgar Allan Poe creates horror in 'The Pit and the Pendulum'

    But, as in a place like that there is no luck, it is obvious that it is going to be his fate in the end. The narrator seems to start losing his sanity as he starts ?smiling at the glittering death? of the pendulum coming towards him.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work