This paper examines several short stories by Edgar Allan Poe that feature the motif of immurement, the practice of imprisoning a victim within walls. Poe uses immurement in “The Black Cat” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” to suggest psychological suppression as the narrators physically hide their victims while simultaneously hiding their own self-destructive natures, which he refers to as “perversity.” His stories “The Imp of the Perverse” and “The Cask of Amontillado” convey that attempting to suppress one’s capacity for self-destruction only guarantees self-destruction. Poe’s motif of immurement demonstrates how human beings tend to ignore their inherent perversity, but his stories reveal how this denial of perversity leads to self-destruction.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.