Eleonora is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe that could potentially relate to his personal, romantic experience. The story presents a collection of the main character’s discourse about love, passion, and memories of Eleonora, his cousin. The story’s plot can be separated into four parts: In the first segment, the main character tries to justify his disloyalty to Eleonora. Next, in the second part of the story author describes the Valley of the Many-Colored Grass. The third segment focuses on the main character’s romantic relationship with Eleonora and the effect that her death had on the disappearing glories of the Valley on the Many-Colored Grass. The last part of the plot focuses on the narrator breaking an oath to Eleonora and falling in love with Ermengarde.
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However, the main character himself states that his existence had two “distinct conditions” or “eras of existence” (Poe). The first era is described as lucid memories of his affection for the young girl Eleonora and memories about the magical beauty of the Valley of the Many-Colored Grass. In contrast, the second era is clouded by the narrator’s doubt in his ability to be faithful to Eleonora, even though he justifies that his feelings for Ermengarde are more authentic and “spirit-lifting” (Poe). The conflict between two eras and breaking an oath is resolved at the end of the story when the spirit of Eleonora visits the main character. The spirit ensures that the narrator is free of his vows to Eleonora for the reasons that shall be known when he ascends to heaven.
In my opinion, the narrator justified the transition between the two eras as he understood that vows to Eleonora were made to prove his love when she was dying. On the other hand, he knew that keeping a vow to Eleonora even after her death would leave an empty void of wanting to be loved. In his doubts, he forgot that true love is pure and depriving yourself of love is worse than being unfaithful to the lost beloved.
Poe, Edgar Allan. “Eleonora.” PoeStories.com, Web.