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Friday, December 9, 2016

Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket - Edgar Allen Poe

Arthur Gordon Pym begins his journal by telling of his first drunken escapade on the sea when he and his friend take a small sail boat, Ariel, out. Having grown up on an island known for fishing and whaling, Arthur Gordon Pym is no stranger to the dangers of sailing, yet he still chose to mount the boat that day.

Undeterred by his first drunken misadventure, Pym decides to once again set sail, but this time as a stowaway with the help of another sailor. This ill-fated plan leaves him stranded and captive in a confined space when his friend does not return as planned. Although parts of his adventure find him in fond company, the positive moments are far outnumbered by the disasters, such as mutiny, shipwrecked, starvation, cannibalism, and hostile natives.

Although the tale reads like a standard journal filled with the woes of an unfortunate sailor, there are inconsistencies and bizarre circumstances leaving the reader befuddled. Edgar Allan Poe's only novel is no less disturbing than any of his shorter works.

More by the author:
Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Works

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