One Need Not Be S Chsmber To Be Haunted Flashcards Preview

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Key theme




Controlled by alternating trimeter and tetrameter



had a structural breakdown in fourth stance where there is no rhyme and it changes into how we think rather than what we think


What does the poem flit between

Internal and external haunting


One need not be a chamber to be haunted

Declarative statement. Rejection of gothic tropes. Entire poem is contingent on gothic ideas. Chamber = metaphor for an unknown mind requiring exploration. Metaphor implies many rooms for many secrets to be hidden. Mind is intangible so one need not be tangible or material to be haunted


The brain has corridors surpassing material place

Physical imagery - brain can be mapped out but it exceeds in vastness again material land


Far safer, of a midnight meeting external ghost

We are more at risk of our own thoughts than any supernatural threat


Than it's interior confronting, that cooler host

Presents the psyche as a different form of ghost - a parasitical being that takes control of the body and host


Far safer, through an abbey gallop

Clichéd.. Staged view of picturesque gothic. Contrast between gothic tropes and internal haunting is striking because they are extreme opposites


Than unarmed, ones self encounter in lonesome place

'Lonesome place' anticipated existentialism, showing ideas of existence and attempting to reason it.
We are unarmed against our own thoughts as they are intrusive and we can't escape from them (scariness of intangibility because you can't fight it)


Ourself behind ourself, concealed

Speaker is deceived by themselves (split personality?) they've gone behind their own back (own worst enemy, intrusive thought etc)


The body borrows a revolver, he bolts the door

Physical being can defend themselves but mind remains vulnerable


Overlooking a superior spectre or more

'Or more' implies continuation of mental pain. Alternative personality for speaker to repress. Unsettling for reader to think that they might not know themselves . Even though it's our own mind , the poem shows we require external descriptions and comparisons to understand it further


What does the poem raise in terms of social taboo

Insanity internalised in the mind, especially when a person is isolated from outside world


Key techniques

Chiasmus between internal/external, metaphor, gothic tropes