Man of the Crowd Term Paper

Pages: 10 (3852 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Literature

As a social structure, London produced a large number of workers, especially clerical workers; clerks were an obvious occupation of the time, and the obvious aspect of the metropolitan economy. Although a large part of the population are working class, there are also nobles and rich merchant plying the social circles of upper social class London, but they are outnumbered by the poorest class in the city. In Psychology, Pseudoscience's of physiognomy and phrenology-which pertains to the ability to read the character of people in a crowd- influenced the author's perspectives in classifying people in the story. The popularity of written text appearing sporadically in the modern urban landscape of that time influenced the writer in the way he mused at things and developed his literary representations: a person is so much like a written text that can be read; and the written text can be likened to an image that can be categorized, and vice versa . In the context of social and cultural milieu, the author presented the irony of his own culture, a social world based on increased fragmentation, class division, and human isolation .

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Term Paper on Man of the Crowd by Assignment

The old man, whom the narrator pursued in the story, is a symbol of so many things: first, he can be the other aspect of personality of the narrator, a personality that he himself needs to understand, pursued, seek and discover. The old man in the story never noticed the narrator stalking him; it is a symbol of unconscious processes at work. While the old man in the story tried to mingle in the crowd and displayed uneasiness in the company of himself alone, the narrator himself is almost always alone but amused himself by observing the crowd. The old man can also be a symbol of a dysfunctional society that never finds comfort in solitary endeavors: he needs a lot of crowd keeping him busy to be able to function well. The man is also a symbol of a psychological disorder which might have been unnamed at that time, the Monophobia, an acute fear of being alone and having to cope without a specific person or perhaps any person, in close proximity . A symbolic illness of the society itself, the individual, and perhaps the narrator himself who mentioned he just had recovered from an unnamed illness. This can be clearly outlined in the movie, which will help the viewer get a glimpse of a dysfunction which is not only in an individual level, but societal as well. The words "night" the "gas lights" the "fog" and the "darkness" symbolized the mental state of the author which is surreal and vague and extraordinarily sensitive to imagination. The walk that the narrator took symbolizes his mental processes during his quest for answers, where he was drawn to places he never would have imagined he ventured into, to seek for the answer he longed to know, but without any luck, he had to go back again from where he began his journey concluding that it was a waste of time, for it remains a mystery whatever he sought for. The symbolism of journey and the quest can be highlighted in the movie as the quest for the inner unconscious, the self, and it's idiosyncrasies that are sometimes manifested but could not be explained even with the tools that science and human may employ. The readers, in the end, are left as well with feeling of frustration for an unsolved mystery. It is Romanticism at its best, the sensation of the mystery of nature, the human nature, specifically. Some authors find the story a delusional portrayal of the author himself, to be read as the "deluded romanticizing of the tipsy narrator, who perversely attributes a Romantic significance to an old drunk." The diamond and dagger, among the many symbolisms which stood vividly in the short story, are subject for many interpretations. The diamond is interpreted as the gem of a personality, the genius in every human being, while the dagger connotes the danger, the crime that all personality has. It's the dual nature of every person that will make the symbol significant in the making of the movie. The same reference can be made to tattered old clothes that the old man is wearing in the story, which is full of filth, but is made up of fine linen, again a contradictory symbol that will make the theme in the movie consistently speak of the dual nature of the human being.

Contemporary Innovation

The story can be made into a movie in contemporary society, specifically a psychological, suspense thriller in cyberspace or metaphysics. The symbolism and the theme of the story still apply up to this era. The search for a clue, the hopes of finding the answer about the depth and width of the unknown processes of entirety of human being is universal. The failure to get an answer despite the confidence and certainty of scientific inquiry is also relevant to our modern society. The thesis of the short story is very much relevant in the contemporary society: our ignorance of the depth of human nature sometimes led us to dismiss the unknown into something which we already constructed, categorized and stereotyped. The turn and twist of the events in the story, the duality of personalities and symbols as well as the failure to fully explain the phenomena of human complexities can be innovated into a psychological thriller and metaphysical suspense-related movies of our contemporary society. Futuristic science discovery to interpret human being according to behavior, action and facial expression can be the modern interpretation of the narrator in the story. It may involve not one narrator, but a powerful institution which dominates humanity and has predetermined everyone's destiny by interpretation of each movement and physical energy. However, a special entity, which could be either the alter ego of the powerful narrator, posed danger to that scientific certainty by the mere refusal to be recognized, categorized and stereotyped. The story may revolve around this conflict, leading to a tragic ending: The failure of science to recognize the depth and power of certain type or evolving human being. A mixture of science, psychology and metaphysical fiction can be combined to re-invent the story into contemporary movie. In the words of Auster: "It is, indeed, with cyberspace that the full potential of Poe's 'The Man of the Crowd' was to be unleashed."

Argument Summation

The short story "The Man of the Crowd" is interestingly a suspense-psychological and metaphysical narrative worthy to be adapted to a movie having a unique, complex, yet enticing subject about human nature and its mystery. It will give the viewer or audience the experience of being the narrator, so distance yet so close to the subject it narrated, and would allow the audience to relate to the subject of the narrator. The narrative itself is full of effective techniques which urge the viewer to focus on the subject it wanted to follow with a sense of immediacy; it will bring into fore the mix emotion that the viewer may feel at the moment: superiority and confidence, curiosity and the tendency to seek for answers; failure and frustration, and at the same time, resignation to the mystery unsolved, or the feeling of being hunted by what was not revealed in the story or the plot. The disillusion of discovery makes this story an interesting suspense movie. At the end of the story, the narrator finds his way back to the exact place where the story begins. The twenty-four hour quest to pursue an identity similar but also a contrast to that of the narrator is like eternity, only to find out that the narrator never really left, or the audience never really took off, but only the wandering mind which creates the illusion of the pursuit. The movie will forever be open to interpretation, subject for an ending that only the viewer can supply or create. The creative process of the unsolved mystery is an effective technique to hold the viewer looking for more, a sequel, part two, series, and the like, which will be advantageous to the investor of this movie. In the advent of box office hits in movie installments such as that of Harry Potter, Lord of the Ring, Twilight Saga, "The Man of the Crowd" movie adaptation could surely gain popularity among avid viewers and ensure box office hit.

Biography of Edgar Allan Poe

Born in Boston on January 19, 1809, Edgar Allan Poe is the second child among the three children of David and Elizabeth Poe. Orphaned at an early age (two years old), Edgar Allan Poe lived with Mr. And Mrs. John Allan as an adopted child, while the rest of his siblings were also adopted by other families. Edgar Allan was raised well by his adoptive parents, was sent to a… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Man of the Crowd" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Man of the Crowd.  (2012, November 16).  Retrieved January 19, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Man of the Crowd."  16 November 2012.  Web.  19 January 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Man of the Crowd."  November 16, 2012.  Accessed January 19, 2021.