For today’s reading, I read four of Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories, “The Black Cat”, “The Cask of Amontillado”, “The Masque of the Red Death”, and “Eleonora”. I chose these particular four stories for a couple of reasons. I wanted to branch out into unknown Poe short stories and compare them to well-known stories, and see if there was any particular reason why certain ones were more famous. For the unknown stories, I picked them because the titles interested me, “The Black Cat” being very Halloweeny, and “Eleonora” being a pretty name that gave me “Annabelle Lee” vibes. I chose the two well-known Poe stories because I was curious and hadn’t read them before. The biggest difference I noticed from the unknown to the known stories, is that the known ones are packed with vivid language and linguistic devices, and altogether more dramatic than the unknown ones, making it fairly obvious to me why the famous ones are in fact, famous.
The main thing I noticed about reading Poe overall though, was how useful his stories are to teach all kinds of literature concepts, from theme, symbolism, to language use, and more. It would be very easy to also use Poe as a way to increase student vocabularies beyond just having them look up words in a dictionary as the way I had to learn vocab in school. I appreciate how even though Poe has very dense language and is generally difficult to understand from the start, his stories are fascinating and engaging. I think they’d be a great way to teach reluctant readers challenging text. That way, students could be intrigued by the horror/thriller themes while not put off by lots of complicated text (four pages of complex text is far better then 200). Reading Poe with the thought of using his stories in the classroom made it very clear to me why many many ELA teachers choose to include his works in their classrooms. I’m sure that I will absolutely be one of them.