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Quotes

Quote #4

How we shiver with affright (line 74)

Sometimes a little word makes all the difference. In this case, it's the word "we." This is the only time the speaker uses this word in the whole poem. It's the only moment where he includes us, his readers, in the story he's telling. The effect is subtle, but chilling. All of a sudden we can imagine ourselves lying in bed, shivering with fear. Maybe it makes you think of those moments when you sat up and listened for things going bump in the night.

Quote #5

Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone--     (line 84-85)

We really like this image as a way of describing the effects of fear. We can feel the weight of that stone rolling over our hearts, creating a crushing heaviness in our chests. The creepiest thing about this is that the ghouls who are spreading this fear seem to enjoy it. What's scary and awful for us is just a good time for the ghouls. It's a classic Poe moment. The sickness of fear mixes with the thrill of horror – after all, there must be a reason we keep reading poems and stories about scary things.

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