Edgar Allan Poe: Man of the Crowd

(1621 words)

“The Man of the Crowd” (1840) is a short, enigmatic tale by Poe. Narrated in the first person, it takes the form of a convalescent's observations and analyses of the crowd of people moving past the bow window of the London coffee house in which he sits. The narrator, who has nearly recovered from his illness, finds pleasure in such social observation, commenting on the various types of people passing by, especially their distinguishing characteristics, before having his attention arrested by one man in particular. This nameless old man is then followed closely by the now-masked narrator (who walks with a handkerchief over his mouth) for the rest of the tale. After 24 hours or so the narrator concludes that this man cannot be known, a…

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Sucur, Slobodan. "Man of the Crowd". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 June 2006
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=19679, accessed 30 September 2016.]