“Ligeia” by E. A. Poe and “In Our Time” by Hemmingway

However, much time might pass, the works of the great authors remain just as great. Yet the puzzles that they give for people to solve are still a mystery to the others. The key idea about these works is not what lies on the surface, but the ideas hidden deep within.

The king of the thriller as a literature genre, Poe has done an amazing job on describing the mysterious case of the two women dying to be reborn after death in a single human being in his novel Ligeia. The atmosphere of the Middle-Age superstitions together with the idea of everlasting love makes the impression of the plot of a weird shape and curved ideas.

Ligeia is a woman, and a strange woman the author makes his audience doubt if she is a human being, after all. Her supernatural powers become unraveled as she speaks to her husband about them. The power of hers is strong, but her will is even stronger.

What kind of a woman is she? The dark and mysterious one, filled with all your superstitions and nightmares, making you think of something that you have long forgotten and very unwilling to remember. Ligeia is like a raven, appearing with the wisdom of the centuries to remind you about your utter sufferings with a mournful cry.

Why is she so strong? What makes the readers believe in her being that powerful and strong-willed? These are the very lines of the text that give the reader a hint.

An intensity in thought, action, or speech, was, possibly, in her, a result, or at least an index of that gigantic volition, which, during our long intercourse, failed to give other and more immediate evidence of its existence. (Poe 4)

Her vivacity, “the intensity of wild desire for life”, as Poe defined it, was immense and clear, leaving no doubt that she was a woman of extraordinary will.

The feminine idea in Poe’s poem in The House of Usher is quite another subject. It is feminine, in fact – it can be clearly seen in the following lines:

“A troop of Echoes whose sweet duty/ Was but to sing,/ In voices of surpassing beauty…” (Poe 20-21) The whole poem is an anthem to the beauty and harmony, which are the very feminine ideas.

In his book under the name In Our Time, Hemingway conveys his idea of a woman as someone completely foreign to a man, like a creature from the other planet.

Such an approach to the gender gap is rather straight-forward, yet clarifying a lot of misconceptions between a man and a woman. If this is the difference like a man and a woman that does not allow them to come to understanding, there is no one but the Providence, or whoever, to blame. A man thus does nothing to approach mysterious women, and neither do they.

This is what the novel Soldier’s Home is about. The constant misconceptions between the two genders are the result of their being completely alien to each other. The author expressed this idea in the most explicit way:

“It wasn’t any good. He could not tell her, he could not make her see it. It was silly to have said it…” (Hemingway 76). There is no way that a man can make a woman see the world the way he sees it, and vice versa.

The author depicts the world that is full of misconception and things said and done wrong. However, he still leaves his characters some room for hope, as the most precious and the least valued thing that each of us has close at hand.

Works Cited

Hemmingway, E. In Our Times. Columbia, SC: Bruccoli Clark Books. 1977. Print.

Poe, Edgar A. The Gold Bug and Other Tales. Dover, DW: Original Dover Publications. 1991. Print.

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