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MS. Found in a Bottle

MS. Found in a Bottle

by Edgar Allan Poe

Versions of Reality Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Just before sinking within the turgid sea its central fires suddenly went out, as if hurriedly extinguished by some unaccountable power. It was a dim, silver-like rim, alone, as it rushed down the unfathomable ocean. (7)

Poe uses the color of the sun—and its sudden change in color—to dramatically alter everything around it. If you think about it, the quality of sunlight has a major effect on the way we see the world. And here, Poe's using that power to change the scenery—and reality—for our poor stranded narrator and the Swede.

Quote #2

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)

Are the high waves just exaggerations from the narrator… or has he found some world where waves really do rise that high? Either way, it's clear that reality is a slippery fella in this story. These descriptions simply defy the laws of physics.

Quote #3

Concealment is utter folly on my part, for the people will not see. (14)

Either the crewmen or the narrator perceives things differently here. Are one or the other perhaps on a different plane of reality? If not, then why can they both see the ship and the sea?

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