MESMERISED MINDS IN EDGAR ALLEN POE’S
‘‘THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF M. VALDEMAR’’
This paper analyses Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘‘The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar’’ from the perspective of reader-response theory. It gives specific information about, the themes which are death, desperation, fear and the experimentation, which has bad results, which are being used in the story by Edgar Allan Poe who is interested in mesmerism after losing his relatives, the feelings which they have felt during the experimentation. It also answers the questions, ‘‘what our relation is to mesmerism, how we are mesmerized in the world.’’ Finally, this paper creates a different view which goes beyond the scope of Edgar Allan Poe’s scientific view and tells readers the exact feeling about how it’s like to lose the joy of living when oneself gets stuck in the mesmerized minds of others.
Keywords: Reader-Response Theory, Fear of death, Mesmerism, Edgar Allan Poe, The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar
In The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, the narrator tells us the facts of the thought-provoking case of M. Valdemar, which have provoked public discussion. Narrator is interested in mesmerism which we know today as hypnotism. He indicates that, as much as he knows, no one has ever been mesmerized in Articulo Mortis (at the point of death), and he is solicitous to see what effects mesmerism would have on a dying person. He thinks over experimenting on his friend Ernest Valdemar who is an author of the Polish versions of “Wallenstein” and “Gargantua” and whom he had previously mesmerized and who has lately been diagnosed with tuberculosis. Narrator, when he brings up this issue with Valdemar, he has never seen Mr. Valdemar so excited and interested to see what will happen. After confirming Valdemar’s decision which is to be a part of the experiment, the narrator comes back the next night with two nurses and his medical student friend Mr. Theodore....