Independent reading project, Willie Willson, Portfolio BM

This independent reading assignment was assigned to us in the second quarter.  It was on our independent reading book, which each student got to chose for themselves.  This project was only challenging if you forgot to read your book, which I didn't.

Independent Reading Assignment:
The book that I read for my independent reading assignment was Tales of Mystery and Imagination, by Edgar Allen Poe (E.A. Poe).   E.A. Poe is considered to be the father of the detective fiction genre, and also revolutionized science fiction.  His stories are better known for being chilling, and having plots that are twisted and confusing until you see it unravel like a lithe snake.  He wrote short stories so that the reader had time to absorb every detail before moving on.

            Since E.A. Poe wrote short stories, I will summarize one of my favorite ones, which is called William Wilson.  There are two main characters in this story, William Wilson, and some other person whose name you never find out.  William is a tyrant of a child who always bullies other children into doing what he wants.  Then he meets this other child who stood up to him.  He hurt this child and made a big mistake.

            From that point on the child becomes a shadow of William.  He starts to walk, sleep, and eat like William.  The only thing that he couldn’t do exactly like William is speak because of the fact that his voice is very faint.  He could still get the infractions and tones of how he spoke, however, which created a very disturbing thing for William to see and hear.  As they grew older this other child kept on shadowing William.  Then William ran to another country to escape this child, and found himself cheating at poker in a rich Frenchman’s in Paris.  But right before he is about to cheat the Frenchman out of all of his money, a stranger barges in and explains how William is cheating. 

            After this William goes mad with rage and chases down the stranger, only to find out it is the boy from his childhood.  This young man still had the same way of speaking and this pushed William further over the edge.  William pulled out his sword and kills this person, and then the now man pronounces that he has just killed himself and turns into a mirror.  William falls to the ground, dead.

            This is the kind of story that E.A. Poe creates.  It is twisted and interesting at the same time.  The conflict is mainly person vs. person because William doesn’t know that this other boy is him until the very end, at which point it becomes person vs. self.  My favorite character would have to be William because of the fact that he didn’t snap earlier.  The only thing that I would expect anybody to get out of this story is that you should make sure you know the way you act and like it, before you go insane.

            I couldn’t really relate to anything in this story because I have always liked how I acted.  I have always been very cool-headed(mostly), and I think that my personality completely goes against such a story of dementedness.

            Having said that, I loved this story.  E.A. Poe uses such detailed verbs when he writes so that you can almost taste, feel, and smell everything around you.  He writes as though you are part of the character and so that the reader can really relate to the trauma that these characters go through.  I wouldn’t change anything about this story, and all of it is fantastic.   I would like to recommend this book to teens or young adults who like to feel their spine tingle with the sensation of horror that comes with E.A. Poe’s writing.