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MS. Found in a Bottle

MS. Found in a Bottle

by Edgar Allan Poe

Fear Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

At times we gasped for breath at an elevation beyond the Albatross—at times became dizzy with the velocity of our descent into some watery hell, where the air grew stagnant, and no sound disturbed the slumbers of the Kraken. (8)

The slumbers of the who? The what? The Kraken is a mythical sea monster, which the narrator evokes even though it never actually appears. The description helps blur the line between the natural world and the supernatural world. The Kraken's the kind of thing that pops up in adventure stories all the time, but here it never rears its ugly head. Just the hint of it is enough to inspire terror in our poor narrator.

Quote #2

Superstitious terror crept by degrees into the spirit of the old Swede, and my own soul was wrapped up in silent wonder. (8)

"I ain't afraid of no ghosts!" We get a glimpse into the narrator's personality and self-regard here: unafraid, even when others are. And not only is he not afraid here (where the Swede is), he's actually in awe—wonder, even—at what he's seeing.

Quote #3

She rose up, like a demon of the deep, slowly from the dim and horrible gulf beyond her. (9)

For a second time, Poe evokes a supernatural sea monster without actually revealing evidence of the supernatural. It keeps alive the question of whether the black galleon is otherworldly, or perfectly natural (though perhaps a little weird). Could it be that all the weird stuff is just in his head?

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