International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Oval Portrait” and The Search for Literary Identity
Greicy Pinto Bellin, PhD

This article intends to analyze the short-story entitled “The Oval Portrait”, by Edgar Allan Poe, in order to show how the narrative metaphorically adresses concerns and anxieties related to the search for literary identity in the Antebellum America, that was politically independent from England but continued to imitate European models. First of all, I’ll analyze the literary context where Poe produced his works, considering the critical texts in which he reflects about the search for literary identity and the tendency of imitating foreign literary models in North-American literature. Secondly, I’ll analyze the short-story, seeking to show the elements that allow us to intepret it as a metaliterary exercise used by Poe to criticize the literature produced in his time.

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