2 July 2015
Edgar Allan Poe urges writers to take standards to their short stories in his commentary
The Importance of the Single Effect in a Prose Tale
. The main point of his standards is the “unity of effect or impression is a point of great importance” (650). For one, a writer must have the
“reader at the writer’s control” (651). To do this, Poe urges stories to be able to be read within 30 minutes to 2 hours. This would contain the story from branching away from the main point and creating a powerful effect to the story. The writer must also be able to “combine such events as may best aid [them] in establishing this preconceived effect.” The theme of the story is also very crucial to Poe’s standards. In order to make a story powerful, the theme needs to be established before the plot comes into mind. The writer must be able to stick to the main theme of his story of horror for example and stay with it, or else he would lose the reader if the entire story turns out to be happy. Keeping that in mind, the soul of the story must be able evoke “ a certain unique or single effect [that can] be wrought out”. Writers should utilize utilizing the senses in their short stories. Short stories must be able to create thrill, fright, danger or something poems or novels can’t replicate. Beauty is not the main goal of a short story but rather of a poem. It is the goal of the soul never to be deeply moved that makes or breaks a short story. The vividity of the short story help reinforce Poe’s standards like the “dropping of water upon a rock.” It builds
a sense of reality towards the reader and further captivates them to continue reading. Ultimately, the unity of the short story must be a great importance to a writer.
A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner is a story of insanity and isolation that carries a secretive but dark tone throughout the story. Starting at Miss Emily Grierson’s house, the readers can see that it is “big, squarish frame house that had once been white… lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above cotton wagons and gasoline pumps an eyesore among eyesore”
(Faulkner, 217) . As stated in the story, Emily lives in a decrepit house and does not attempt to revive the former old beauty. However, it’s shown that Emily had gone through some traumatic events by her father such as “all the young men her father had driven away” and making her be the housekeeper. In turn, this caused Emily to behave very erratically in terms of the social norms and rebel against her dad by turning the once beautiful house in a mess. In continuation to the story, Emily’s behavior becomes more erratic and quite deadly as the narrator explains her former life. For example, Emily goes to a druggist to poison Homer Barron, her lover, because of his preferences on men even remarked that “he liked men and was known to have drank with the younger men in the Elks’ Club”. Insisting that she wants arsenic and asking “Is that a good one?” to the druggist implies premeditated murder, showing that she had planned this and shows a dark side to her personality. Emily’s personality becomes more insane as the ending of the story alludes to how she sealed Homer’s corpse inside the top part of the house and she slept with it for about 40 years.
A Rose For Emily is a story of where an innocent girl had been put down a tragic path of insanity because of her father controlling her. In the end, death lingers as the theme of this tragic story.
Desiree's Baby by Kate Chopin is a story of hidden backgrounds, lies, and grief. As stated, the mystery of
Desiree's Baby starts with Deziree herself as a baby being “found lying asleep in the shadow of the big stone pillar”. The location of the baby would ask why she was found in a random place, which alludes to her mysterious background since she has no recollection of her