It’s a story by Edgar Allan Poe about people who’ve been buried alive. Talking about how he was paranoid that he might be prematurely buried that he was too petrified to leave his own home



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It’s a story by Edgar Allan Poe about people who’ve been buried alive. Talking about how he was paranoid that he might be prematurely buried that he was too petrified to leave his own home. He gives an example of when he felt as if he were buried alive although that wasn’t the case. He is scared of premature burial because he goes into deep sleeps which make him think a person will mistake him for a dead body, and bury him when he is still alive. It reminds me of this book that I used to own where the girl was being paranoid about everyone and everything thinking these people would kill her or try to get rid of her. She was always on guard alert and ready. Then the one person she did trust betrayed her and tried to kill her without anyone knowing. The people she should’ve trusted didn’t want to hurt her. She always tried keeping secrets to herself which would just hurt her. In the end both she and Poe were very paranoid of things that were not true. This story really reminds me of a time in 9th grade when I thought that everyone at school was talking about me behind my back. I let myself believe that every time I saw someone smile or laugh in the hallways that it was possibly about me. I don’t feel comfortable around other people but I also know that not everyone is out to get me. These feelings help me to understand why Poe wrote that story.

1. Poe describes the sensations of being buried alive. What imagery does Poe use to help you hear, see, smell, and feel? “The unendurable oppression of the lungs—the suffocating fumes from the damp earth.”

2. The narrator suffers from catalepsy, a physical condition in which the individual cannot move or speak for hours or, in extreme cases, for months. According to the narrator’s explanation, what are some of the ways that one can tell a cataleptic is still living? “We can detect a slow, unequal, and irregularaction of the lungs.”

3. What simile does the narrator use describing his return to consciousness? What does the narrator suggest by using this simile and subsequent description? “I remained, until the crisis of the disease restored me, suddenly, to perfect sensation.” “I awoke slowly. Just as the day dawns to the friendless and houseless beggar who roams the streets throughout the long desolate winter night—just so tardily—just so wearily—just so cheerily.”

4. As the narrator experiences fear, what techniques does Poe use to create suspense for the reader? He likes to extend the sentences to make it seem like something major is going to happen also I think it would have to do with the tone depending on how the person is reading the story.

5. What is happening to the narrator here? Use evidence from the text to support your answer. “Suddenly there came an icy hand upon my forehead, and an impatient, gibbering voice whispered the word "Arise!" within my ear.” The narrator is waking up to this unknown figure in his room.

6. The narrator describes one of his dreams. What happens and what is the significance? “nearly comatose but somewhat conscious of the world around him” He can sense whats going on but can’t like do anything.

7. How would you describe the narrator’s mental state? Are his actions rational? I would have to say his mental state is scared. His rational state I think makes sense because he is scared of being buried alive.

8. What techniques does Poe use in the second paragraph to build suspense? What is the effect on you, the reader? He uses punctuation a lot. The effect it makes on me is making me curious.

9. Based on the descriptions here, what has happened to the narrator? He thinks he has been buried alive and he is trying to yell for help but no sound is coming out of him.

10. How does changing sentence structure from long to short and choppy help build suspense? What emotions do you feel as you read? It makes the reader want to know what happened next but to also read it a little quicker. Emotions I feel depend if I get attached to the character in the story.

11. What has happened? If you were the narrator, what would you feel hearing these voices? I would most likely be crying if I heard voices in my sleep that I can’t identify.

12. The narrator explains how the circumstances of his night aboard the boat paralleled the circumstances of his worst fears. What are the similarities that he experiences? “The excess of this experience caused in my spirit a rejection of my old fears. My soul acquired tone—acquired temper.”

13. The narrator undergoes a major change. What did the narrator do in light of his experience on the sailboat? Do you think his reaction is a typical one of someone facing their fears? “I dismissed forever my apprehensions of live burial, and with them vanished the cataleptic disorder, of which, perhaps, they had been less the consequence than the cause.” He got rid of his fears.



14. Think about the meaning of the last sentence. What is Poe saying in these final lines of his story? Maybe to suppress our fears or try to overcome those so they don’t make us completely fear everything in life.


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