Brandon Wile Edgar Allen Poe “Eyes were tortured by even a faint light,” as written In Edgar Allen Pope’s The Fall of the House of Usher, shows a heightened sense of sight to the light. This Is known as hypersensitivity. Hypersensitivity Is a state of altered reactivity In which the body reacts with an exaggerated Immune response to what Is perceived as a foreign substance. In simpler terms it (hypersensitivity) is an exaggerated response by the body dealing with the senses. Poe used many hypersensitive lines in his work. His persona are often distracted by sound or other stimuli.
So why does Poe write in such a manner? It is believed that Poe suffered from MUSES syndrome. MUSES syndrome is caused due to carbon monoxide poisoning and characterized by multiple chemical sensitivity and acute hypersensitivity to stimuli (sensory defensiveness). Sharon heeler states, “Poe was likely poisoned by exposure from gas lighting In 1829, while rooming for a few months with his cousin Edward Mosher In Bolsterer’s Hotel in downtown Baltimore. ” Due to his heightened senses, Poe suffered from hypersensitivity. This Is probably why he used It (hypersensitivity) In his poems and short stones.
Poe Is thought to be a drunkard, drug addict, or the Incarnation of one of his own persona by the popular mind. Many think Poe was a heavy drinker, but it is thought that Poe had alcohol dehydrogenate deficiency; a rare enzyme disorder. When Poe drank his hypersensitive personality was badly affected. Alcohol dehydrogenate breaks down a majority of the alcohol that enters the body. Due to a deficiency in this enzyme Poe would be affected by the smallest amount of alcohol. It had a terrible effect on him, but as his position in life became more and more miserable, he drank o escape reality.
Pope’s short story Hop Frog involves a sensitivity to alcohol. Hop Frog gets drunk fairly easily due to the fact he was a dwarf. He despised drinking, but was forced to for the kings own pleasure. The narrator describes, ” the effect of wine on his excitable brain was not more powerful than monarch In the story knew hop frog had a distaste for alcohol as the narrator explains, ” He knew that Hop Frog was not fond of wine: for it excited the poor cripple almost to madness… ” Like Hop Frog Small amounts of alcohol had a drastic effect on Pope’s brain as well.
Poe despised debauchery in every form of the word, as did Hop Frog, but he still drank. It is easy to see how Poe and Hop Frog are alike. Due to the overwhelming effect of alcohol on Poe it is possible that he could of had Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a disorder that affects the thought process of someone, as well as how that person feels and acts. Someone with schizophrenia may have difficulty distinguishing between reality and what Is Just in ones own mind. He/she might be unresponsive or withdrawn and expressing normal emotions In social situations may be a struggle.
Edgar Allen Poe quotes, “Men have called me mad; but the question Is not yet settled, whether madness Is or Is not the loftiest intelligence – whether much that is glorious – whether all that is profound – does not spring Trot Leases AT outhunt – Trot moods AT mina exalted at ten expense AT ten general intellect” So was Poe mad? He drank to escape reality; however, Because of the effects of alcohol on Poe its possible he had hallucinations. Rufus Griswold, A rival of Poses, deformed Poe at his eulogy. He said Poe was “demonic and depraved,” as well as an “egotistic villain” with “scarcely any virtue. He did this to spite Poe for the things he said about him. Griswold statements of Poe were disregarded; although, Poe may have had bipolar disorder. Pope’s short stories and poems show signs of schizophrenia. In Pope’s short story The Tell-Tale Heart, his persona explains, “The disease sharpened my senses… Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things… ” This deals with hypersensitivity in hearing. There is auditory selective attention in schizophrenia. Auditory selective attention involves filtering relevant from irrelevant information.
This heightened sense of hearing creates hypersensitivity in the story. In the story The Tell-Tale Heart, after three police officers enter the residence of Pope’s persona and searched his house, he states “My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears… ” This shows signs of hearing things due to schizophrenia. 1 He also says, “Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! No, no! They heard! They suspected! They knew! They were making a mockery of my horror! ” He says this because he is earning the beating heart of the man he killed and he can bare its sound no more.
The narrator shows signs of having referential delusions that happen when a person believes that certain gestures of actions are specifically directed at him or her A dead mans heart can not beat; Pope’s persona was hearing things in his head. It is clear to see that the narrator is having hallucinations. Pope’s persona shows signs of having a mental disease that could be schizophrenia. He hallucinates when hearing things and he has catatonic actions. This shows how mental the character is. It is evident that Poe uses much hypersensitivity in his work.