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Questions

MS. Found in a Bottle Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
  1. What does "MS." have in common with other sea stories like Moby-Dick and Treasure Island? What about it is different than those stories?
  2. Why can't the old sailors on the black ship see the narrator? Since he's such an anti-social grump, is he happy about this? Or is it punishment of some sort? Is there something more sinister going on?
  3. Wait a second. Is this the Black Pearl? Is the black ship full of the dead? Is the narrator himself dead when he boards? What in the world are we supposed to make of this?
  4. Why did Poe include the old Swedish sailor here? What does he add to the story?
  5. Why do the old men on the black ship express such optimism and hope right before they die? Is the narrator any different? How? Why might that be significant?
  6. Where does the whirlpool go? Why are the old men excited about getting to it, other than the fact that it sounds like a fun ride (with a bad ending)?
  7. Is "MS." supposed to be a satire or is Poe playing it straight?
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