Study Guide

Dream-Land Setting

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Have you ever been on one of those amusement park haunted-house rides where you get pulled along in a little car and things jump out at you? OK, imagine the coolest possible version of that, and we think you've got a pretty good idea of the setting of "Dream-Land."

We know it sounds a little weird, but think about it for a second. In this poem you are getting pulled along in the dark, and you don't really ever know where you came from, where you are, or where you are going. Sometimes something pops up, like a lake or a mountain, but you don't really have time to look at it, because the poem keeps pulling you along, just like that little car. Sometimes a ghost or a ghoul jumps out to give you a scare, but it's all in good fun. You never really feel terrified; you just enjoy the spine-tingling thrill of being a little scared. Most of all, you pay money to go on those rides because they take you on a tour of another place, and get you out of your normal life for a minute. We think that's the real fun in this poem, the way it takes you on an amazing ride through Poe's Dream-Land in just 56 lines.

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