by Edgar Allan Poe
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
The Tell-Tale Heart
- Edgar Allan Poe
In this classic, suspenseful story about guilt, a man is driven mad by the heartbeat of the man he murdered.Pair the two Edgar Allan Poe short stories: “The Tell-Tale Heart” with “The Man of the Crowd.” Ask students to compare the narrators in these stories and their obsessions with old men. What is the relationship between the narrators and the old men in these stories? Why does Poe end both stories without explaining the motivation of the narrators?
I'm Nobody! Who Are You?
- Emily Dickinson
Dickinson, a well-known introvert, cherished isolation. In this poem, she calls public life “dreary” and takes pride in maintaining a private identity.Pair Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Man of the Crowd” with “I’m Nobody! Who Are You?” by Emily Dickinson. Ask students to discuss the similarities and differences between Poe’s concept of the unknowable and Dickinson’s poem about taking pride in maintaining private identity.
Excerpt from Walden: “Where I Lived and What I Lived For”
- Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was an American author, essayist, poet, abolitionist, and philosopher. He, along with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller, was one of the major figures of the Transcendentalism movement. The text below is taken from his best known work, Walden, a reflection upon his two years spent living in the wilderness near Walden Pond in Massachusetts.Pair Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Man of the Crowd” with “Excerpt from Walden: ‘Where I Lived and What I Lived For’” and ask students to compare the ways in which Thoreau and the old man in Poe’s story address the realities of life. What do their approaches reveal about their characters?