In Eleonora, we find the author’s aspiration for the infinite in the usage of lofty metaphors and idealization of experience. Edgar Allan Poe’s works were also a product of the times in which he lived. In this sense, the social, political and cultural events that occurred in the United States of early nineteenth century have shaped his thought and style. Conversely, his popularity as a writer handed him the opportunity to be a social critic which he used responsibly to address pressing social problems of his era. Hence the realism found in his works helped offer pragmatic solutions to socio-cultural frictions. But this did not stop Poe from embracing the Romantic Movement, where idealism and fantasy were key to the literary art. In this mode, Poe went beyond the practical and pragmatic to the fantastical and exciting as two different methods of addressing a particular issue. The genius of Edgar Allan Poe lies in his deft mixing of these approaches that he brings to his art.
Here, the uncanny is shown in the unfamiliarity of the familiar landscape. The same landscape that he once loved and cherished would become ‘uncannily’ familiar, whereby he is both attracted to it (because of past pleasurable association) and repulsed by it (due to its appalling present condition). The rich poetic language that Poe employs in the narrative further accentuates this sense of the uncanny.
Consistent with the characteristics of the Romantic Movement, Poe’s stories often showed interest in “supernatural or unexplained phenomena such as hypnosis, telepathy, sleepwalking, insanity, drives, and in the subconscious also contributed to the motif of the double in Romantic literature”. The strong resonance of the supernatural or the divine could be found in the concluding lines of Eleonora. Here, the narrator is offered a divine sanction to go ahead pursuing his newfound love. He is absolved of any offense with respect to the earlier promise and is blessed with peace.
“I wedded;-nor dreaded the curse I had invoked; and its bitterness was not visited upon me. And once-but once again in the silence of the night; there came through my lattice the soft sighs which had forsaken me; and they modelled themselves into familiar and sweet voice, saying: “Sleep in peace!-for the Spirit of Love reigneth and ruleth, and, in taking to thy passionate heart her who is Ermengarde, thou art absolved, for reasons which shall be made known to thee in Heaven, of thy vows unto Eleonora.”” [ix]