Eleonor, the Beautiful Girl

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Date Submitted: 03/06/2013 11:02 PM

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The Undying Significance of “Eleonora”

A short story “Eleonora”, written by Edgar Allan Poe, an American writer, is quite different from his other work, mostly because of its happy ending unseen in his other stories. Mostly considered a dark, gothic writer, Poe gives a surreal, angelic touch to the overall mystical atmosphere of the story (Eleonora is depicted as a heavenly being, the most beautiful woman in the whole world), using many motifs (life and death, love, beauty) and literary devices (the sublime, metaphors, imagery) in order to puzzle the reader. This paper will try to explain these motifs and literary devices Poe commonly used in his work, as well as interpret one of the most enchanting characters in all of Poe’s stories - Eleonora.

An unnamed narrator is living with his cousin and aunt in “The Valley of the Many – Colored Grass”, an idyllic paradise filled with flowers, gorgeous trees and a “River of Silence” . He lived like that for fifteen years before“ Love entered” within the hearts of the two cousins, but it didn’t last for long – Eleonora became sick, “made perfect in loveliness only to die” .

The Valley of the Many-Colored Grass began losing its beauty and warmth, and the narrator left to an unnamed “strange city” where he met a woman named Ermengarde whom he married. Eleonora visited him and gave him her blessing with words: “Thou art absolved, for reasons which shall be made known to thee in Heaven”. One of the similarities between “Eleonora” and other Poe’s short stories is the main

theme: the death of a beautiful woman. After her death, Poe uses a literary device called Abram 2 “sublime”: it is the “rebirth or reincarnation of the beloved”, suggesting “that the romantic idealist may, mad though he be, finally achieve some success in his quest for a higher meaning” .What Butler tries to explain in his observation is the possibility of one’s actual reincarnation, and not the hallucination, which may lead the character to realize his...