Poe and the Perverse

Victoria Pineda - Multigenre Project

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What is the perverse?

""The Imp of the Perverse" is a short story that begins as an essay written by 19th century American author and critic Edgar Allan Poe. It discusses the narrator's self-destructive impulses, embodied as the Imp of the Perverse. The narrator describes this spirit as the agent that tempts a person to do things "merely because we feel we should not.""

Unit Works

The Tell-Tale Heart

The Cask of Amontillado

The Black Cat

The Raven

5 Genres

Visual Display - Collage

Visual with Words - Invitation

Print Media - Advice Column

Informational - WebQuest

Creative Writing - Found Poem

Genre 1: Visual Display - Collage

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Genre 2: Visual with Words - Invitation

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Genre 3: Print Media - Advice Column

Dear P,

I fear that I am going mad. I have the feeling that my new roommate is always watching me. He’s an older gentlemen, with a crazy vulture eye! It infuriates me! I don’t understand why I feel this way; he’s always so nice to me, but that eye, that eye… Sometimes I dream about murdering him to end my madness, but I’m not sure where I would hide the body… It would have to be somewhere the police would never find. The backyard? No, too easy. Beneath the floorboards? Perhaps. Oh, P! Why do I feel this way? What can I do to stop these perverse thoughts? - Nervous Narrator

Dear NN,

Although your case would make an excellent story, I must advise you to seek professional help. These illusions are all in your head. I fear that acting on your impulses would only make your mental state worsen until the point of full collapse. Keep it together! - P

Genre 4: Informational – Webquest

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Genre 5: Creative Writing – Found Poem

Once upon a midnight dreary,

while I pondered, weak and weary,

I was so pleased to see him that I thought

I should never have done wringing his hand.

I took from my waistcoat-pocket a pen-knife,

opened it,

grasped the poor beast by the throat,

and deliberately cut one of its eyes from the socket!

Now this is the point.

You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing.

But you should have seen me.

You should have seen how wisely I proceeded

--with what caution

--with what foresight

--with what dissimulation I went to work!

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,

And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies

floating on the floor Shall be lifted


I hastened to make an end of my labour.

I forced the last stone into its position;

I plastered it up.

Against the new masonry I re-erected the old rampart of bones.

For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them.

In pace requiescat!