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The Man of the Crowd by Alen Poe

Nowadays it is practically impossible to find a person who does not read books, especially those of modern literature. It is present by the diversity of writers and poets whose masterpieces provoke so many different opinions, contradictory points of view and critical articles. Those books that describe certain periods in history are of greater interest among the readers, as they give complete imagination of the period that is known only from history. Films that are screened based on the books are very popular. Moreover, these works are rather interesting and they have already found their army of fans all over the world. These works are original but sometimes it is necessary to make some efforts in order to understand them correctly, as each reader may have his or her personal point of view. Those books and plays that describe certain periods in history are of great interest among the readers, as they give complete imagination of the period that is known only from history. Films that are screened based on the books are very popular. It is usual state of affairs as everything in this world changes and these changes always mean something new and interesting. Among a great number of modern writers there is an author who attracts the readers’ attention by his stories, which are always interesting and original. Current paper is connected with the art and the book of Edgar Alen Poe. It is hard to argue that he is unusual and sometimes even mysterious writer. His thoughts are reflected in the works, which later become the object of studying and lively discussions. The achievement of the works by Alen Poe lies in the so-called balance amid the practical and the anagogical. The stories by Alen Poe are very interesting, but the main peculiarity of them is that sometimes they are rather difficult to read; it is necessary to pay attention to the special techniques that compose his style of writing.  What is really significant in the style of Alen Poe is his mode to utilize the character viewpoint in the story. Despite of the fact that it is performed in the way that even if the omniscient narrator employs a certain point of view of the character while depicting some events, the reader can observe the effect which is more like a mirror rather than advocate. The key topic under discussion of the present paper is the book The Man of the Crowd by Alen Poe. The main thing that the reader is interested in is what is beyond his ability to read.

 The readers and professional critics state that this poem of the writer is one of the most complicated as it is rater difficult to read. Many of the critics say that this book does not allow reading itself. The main reason for it is not a complicated language, but topics. The set of events is very tricky and it does not permit readers to understand the book completely. The book is full of different odd and interesting images that make it very complicated for reading and understanding. Establishing trust and reliance with the reader, still, is what Poe is most attractive in doing, as it permits for the darkness and desolation that he feels to leach into the novel. When Poe tells about it, it does not seem unbelievable or outlandish. Instead, it looks like much more sensible that ache and horror is an inevitable part of a usual every day life. The author tries to tell that our life is full of drama and terror, and it should be treated as something usual, as they are also necessary to help people to see the difference between bad and good, evil and kindness.  Probably, this is the main reason why the book is considered strange and difficult to read. Poe is not interested in enjoyment and calm, although, and instead pays particular attention on some heartrending aspects of humanity. In some parts of writing, it might seem like an effort to bend the reader too much in the direction of what the narrator thinks, but the way Poe describes, it seems much more pragmatic and significant. The narrator tries to demonstrate his points of view about loneliness and isolation in society, thus making the story as strange as possible.

The main peculiarity of the style of Poe is that he is depicting his characters and city in a dark colors, making it as dark as possible. Therefore, he does with the man in the crowd, making him very strange and different from the rest of the crowd. Dark colors help to convey the general mood of the novel and the image of the man in particular, describing the idea of loneliness and despair to that the author tries to pay attention,  considering it as an important part of life of every person. From the very beginning of the book, it seems very odd and difficult to understand and catch the main idea due to a great number of strange images and the mixture of languages. The author used some words of French and Greek origin to demonstrate the peculiarity of those times, when using foreign languages was fashionable. The people depicted in the novel behave the way as if there is no other way to express one's feelings except through relax action. Those people were the typical representatives of that time, fashionable and lazy, thinking only about themselves.

The main character of the story and the narrator as well is a man, who is wandering in the center of the city, in the crowd and depicting his thoughts and points of view. This man is wandering from side to side in the public square; nothing he does is aggressive or unlawful, yet the narrator has built him up into indistinct, despicable figure.

From behind the window of a café, a convalescent, contemplating the crowd with delight. Finally, he rushes into the crowd in search of an unknown person whose face, glimpsed momentarily, fascinated him. Curiosity has become a fatal and irresistible passion. (Poe 9)

The first thing that attracts the attention of the reader is the indifference of the man to everything around him. Probably, Poe tried to show that our world is full of odd people who are around us.  Perhaps, that is the drive force of the story: unusual and discomfiting people are all around us, if merely we notice them and this fact makes the story difficult to read, as it is based upon the ideas of the narrator’s imagination. He depicts the behavior of a lonely person in a night city.

The opening of The Man of the Crowd depicts the emotions comprised in countless secrets and crimes; there are interior conflicts, fights, anxieties, and agonies results because of the disgust of the impenetrable crimes. The opportunity of these crimes is depicted by means of man of the crowd throughout his unidentifiable appearance. The unpredictable and unreadable behavior of the man in the crowd is probably the main reason why the narrator finds it difficult to read him, as his image comprises many unusual things that are so difficult to understand. The narrator depicts his thoughts about this man as:

He arose confusedly and paradoxically within my mind, the ideas of vast mental power, of caution, of penuriousness, of avarice, of coolness, of malice, of blood-thirstiness, of triumph, of merriment, of excessive terror, of intense- of supreme despair. I felt singularly aroused, startled, fascinated. (Poe 12)

Even though the narrator did not know this man of the crowd, he was obliged to follow him based on his expression that had never been watched by the narrator. He kept on following the man of the crowd, paying attention to his patterns of following people by the crowd and his waddle clothes and he concluded that he was « the type and genius of deep crime. He refuses to be alone" (Poe  10). One more reason of the man to be hard for reading is the mixture of images and descriptions around him. On their setting, he looks like even more unusual. From the very beginning of the novel, the narrator used so many different descriptions, moving from one image to another, depicting people and town at the same time. It is rather for the reader difficult to turn his attention to another image. From the first sentences of the story, the narrator describes the town he is wandering about, depicting people and surroundings.

Before noticing the man of the crowd, the narrator paid attention some different types of people. Their description is observed in the first pages of the novel. All of these people can be read due to their noticeable appearances. The narrator could easily understand their behavior and saw ha kind of persons they were looking at their appearance and cloths. They are so unsurprising and standard. Their movements show the narrator that they feel alone because of the large crowd around them. There was nothing special about their way of life, their motions and behavior were very easy to read and predict. Despite of all the luxury, these people were very lonely and all their actions were very easy to predict. Their movements sounded to the narrator as if these men were unconfident in their actions and motioned to themselves for aims of measurement.

The man of the crowd, noticed by the narrator was beyond his ability to read. He was somewhat special and differed from the rest in the crowd. The narrator was following the man, but it was too difficult for him to read the man and his actions. As we know, unknown is always interesting as harder the task is, interesting and attracting it is to people. The man from the crowd was this very unknown and unpredictable person for the narrator, as it was unpredictable in his actions, despite all his simplicity. “My observations heightened my curiosity and I resolved to follow the stranger whithersoever he should go" (Poe 12).  This person is something that is very hard to read, Because of his unpredictable manner of behavior.

On the once hand he was a simple man form the crowd, but on the other hand he was peculiar and differed from the rest of the crowd. The narrator could not read him according to his actions. The only thing that was clear was that this man felt very lonely despite of the fact that he was surrounded by the crowd of people. “Still more was I astonished to see him repeat the same walk several times…” (Poe 14). The most odd and interesting to the narrator was that he could not foresee further actions of the man.  He was not interested in anything particular that is why the narrator could not determine what class the man belonged to, what was his occupation and way of living, as the rest people from the crowd were very easy to read. The behavior of the man was very strange, as if he was the person trying to find something that was lost many years ago.


Works Cited

Poe, Edgar A. The man of the Crowd. New York: BookSurge Classics, 2004


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