Edgar Allan Poe's personal religious feeling may have been uncertain, but the influence of the Bible on his works is not in question. Poems such as “The Raven” and “Annabel Lee,” for instance, allude to ideal states not unlike that described in the creation story of Genesis, particularly the scriptural verses depicting the Garden of Eden. As in the biblical creation story—which provides the literary model of “paradise”—so in these poems: death has a lasting and adverse effect on happiness. In Genesis and “Annabel Lee,” moreover, malign influence undoes archetypal innocence. In much of his prose, too, Poe includes (sometimes telling) rhetorical references to the creation story, from the forbidden wisdom of “Ligeia” to the picturesque vale of “Landor's Cottage.” Allegorically, though, Poe's short story “The Black Cat” treats the creation story of Genesis 1–4 remarkably fully, moving beyond allusion as it essentially retells those chapters of Genesis in macabre form, describing an ideal state, original sin, and murder—the very outline of the biblical narrative itself.

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