Read "Edgar A. Poe: An American Life," "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Masque of the Red Death" and "The Purloined Letter." Then respond to the writing prompts below. Format all responses on the same document and submit via Pilot. DUE DATE: Friday, Apr. 7, 9 a.m.

"Edgar A. Poe: An American Life"

This section is broken up into different parts with subtitles. Identify each part and write a 1-3 sentence thesis that explains what that part is about. Word counts will vary.

"The Fall of the House of Usher"

One way that authors use the technique of setting in literary fiction is to reflect the emotional and/or physical condition of characters. Poe uses setting for this very purpose in "The Fall of the House of Usher." Specifically, he uses sensory details to create a dark, gloomy, fearsome atmosphere—one that reflects the condition of Madeline and especially Roderick. In the first paragraph of the story, Poe describes the setting at length. Select AT LEAST FIVE words he uses that might also be applied to the character of Roderick. Explain your answer. 250 words.

"The Masque of the Red Death"

Respond to the following questions: [1] What is the Red Death? [2] How does life outside of the palace differ from life inside the abbey? [3] What does the mummer do and how do people react to him? [4] What is the story's resolution? Word counts will vary.


First published in 1844, Poe's "The Purloined Letter" has often been cited by critics as the origin of detective fiction. Today, over 150 years later, detective fiction is among the most popular literary genres, not to mention the growing profusion of detective films and TV shows. Consider, for instance, the CSI and Law & Order franchises alone. Every night you can find some kind of detective show on TV, and there's almost always a detective film playing at your local movie theater. Does Poe's story seem like it is cut from the same stock as contemporary detective films and shows? Why or why not? Does the protagonist, C. Auguste Dupin, remind you of David Caruso's character Horatio Cane on CSI: Miami, at one point the most-watched show in the world, or the detectives on Law & Order: SVU, NYPD Blue, The Shield, Dexter, or some other show? In your response, be attentive to specific deails in "The Purloined Letter." 500-750 words. DUE DATE: Friday, Apr. 14, 9 a.m.


In your own words, summarize the following three articles from the supplementary material in the Norton Critical Edition of The Selected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe:

James W. Gargano • The Question of Poe's Narrators
Liahna Armstrong • The Shadow's Shadow: The Motif of the Double in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Purloined Letter"
J. Gerald Kenney • From Phantasms of Death in Poe's Fiction

Each summary should be 250 words long and formatted as a single paragraph. As always, be sure that your writing is revised and polished. Submit all three summaries on the same document via Pilot. DUE DATE: Friday, Apr. 21, 9 a.m.