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Please come to Nantucket at once, for I have a tale.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

It was a mild and misty morn upon which I set out for Nantucket and my rendezvous with a one Mr. Arthur Gordon Pym, Esq., resident of New England. He garnered my notice all the way from Chicago, for I received a writ, in which he entreated of me, "Please come to Nantucket at once, for I have a tale..." He went rambling on about some nonsense concerning ghostly figures and eerie ships; about people with the taste for human flesh, and the perils of the sea. Immediately, I discounted the telegram as nonsense, a fabrication of a mind teetering everyday upon the brink of madness, and, though my editor argued the contrary, I politely begged off of the assignment. Weeks passed, stories came and went, but, despite its nonsensical nature, I could not bring myself to part with the long and stupefying tale. Many times, I remember throwing the letter in the trash and, as if moved by some hand other than my own, quickly retrieving it from the bin. On these frequent occasions, I would stand; mesmerized by the spidery crawl of Mr. Pym's handwriting, and quietly wonder at the mind of the man that wrote such insanity. One night, however, while enjoying a cordial following dinner, I began to ponder what seemed to be the strength, the conviction, of this madman. Perhaps it was the my editor's will holding sway over my mind, or perhaps it was the heady spirits of that which I imbibed, but once again I felt moved, compelled, as if a force beyond my own will to further explore Mr. ...read more.

Middle

I could see now that the forest itself was indeed more immense than I had first imagined, and that a little further out from where I had ended my search, it became an impenetrable wall of brushy undergrowth. Though I cast about sometime, I saw nothing, but was haunted by that rustling sound. It sounded as if something ponderous was shuffling its way through the snow; snow that was, by then, quite deep. Dispelling the foolish thoughts that ran through my mind, I stepped from the cabin to make a more proper investigation of the emanations, and, as I carried my search to the carriage's rear to check that it was not bandits I had heard rustling through the luggage, I saw it. Some distance behind the carriage - nearly one hundred paces - there was a great black...shape. As best I could tell in the poor light, it loped in a stooped posture, its head barely clearing obscuring mist. Perhaps it walked on all fours, or perhaps the bent posture of this thing made it seem so, I could not tell. I could tell, however, that it lumbered towards me, nearly twice my width, and, as it moved closer I could discern a sound of harsh gurgling, as one with the consumption might make in their final moments of life. My nostrils were likewise assailed by the unmistakably fetid odor of rot, but I could do naught but observe its weighty approach. What broke me from my fearful repose must have been the nicker of the horses, and I am now certain that they saved my life, for as they neighed, the creature broke into a dash so belying its bulk. ...read more.

Conclusion

This chap, Prospero, he is a prince, and his kingdom is falling into ruin because of the red plague. Unlike a kindly ruler, though, he locks himself and his court right up tight in the castle and throws a masquerade like none you ever saw. Funny, thing, though, is that they all think their sound as a pound up in the castle - especially the prince - but sooner than later, the old red death pops up and chases the prince around something fierce while dressed as a masquerade goer, all in funeral clothes and white mask. The thing is, though, the red death isn't really the red death...." "You mean it is an allegory, a symbol of some sort, "I asked. "Exactly, " he continued, "just like that ghostly woman figure in your story of Arthur Pym, it stood for something, which in that case was the princes own madness." "That is well and good, sir, but I still do not see how these stories can be connected by anything more than their gruesome natures," I responded. He sighed and drew on his long pipe before beginning anew, "You see, you're looking too much at what the stories're about than the way they are written or told. They are all established in the same way. Suspense is always built to near-fruition, but then builds even more, and each encounter - like Pym had all through that story of yours - meant something deeper than what it told about. You have to stop looking at the literal and take a gander at the figurative." "So if I am understanding you correctly, " I began to postulate, "these stories are connected by the sheer fact that they are written in the same manner. ...read more.

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