The Oval Portrait Summary | Question Answer

The story ‘The oval portrait’ is written by Edgar Allan Poe. He was an American writer, poet, literary critic, and editor. The writer is widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism in the USA. He is famous for his dark, mysterious poems and stories including; the Ravan, the fall of House of usher, the black cat and heart. The oval portrait was first published as a longer version titled ‘life is death in Graham`s magazine in 1842. On April 26, 1845, the short version of ‘Life is Death’ was re-named ‘The oval portrait and get published.

The Oval Portrait Summary

                      The valet of the narrator makes a forcible entrance into the chateau without permission in the narrator’s wounded condition. The narrator stays in a small room of that chateau which was very old and looks like a horror building. In that small room, the narrator found a painting (cart) of a beautiful young girl who looks like a living (real). After looking at it, he wants to know about that painting. He starts to search in that room and he found a book under the pillow which contains all details bout that portrait.

After it, another story about portraits was started. So this story is also known as the story in a story. One day, a famous artist saw a beautiful young girl who just ripening into womanhood. Due to the beautifulness of that young girl, the artist likes her. He wants to marry her and finally, he married that girl. That artist is very famous for his art. He wants to makes his wife’s beauty immortal through his art. He starts to make his wife art or painting. The artist requests his wife to sit with any movement so the artist involves to make paintings without any disturbance.

His wife is also very obedient and respectful. He always respects and obeys his husband’s request and sits without any movement. The obsessed behavior of the artist prevents him from taking care of his wife at that time. At that time he only thinks to make his wife’s beauty immortal. As a result of his obsess behavior toward art, make his wife death. His wife doesn`t tell any problem to the artist because she doesn`t want to disturb him. Finally, the woman loses his life but does not share any problem with his husband at that time. After completing the painting of his wife the artist cried with happiness and move towards his wife. When he shared his happiness than he found his wife was dead. It makes the artist very sad.

            Here, the death of the artist’s wife is due to her beauty. If she wasn`t very beauty then the artist doesn`t involve making her beauty immortal. Another reason behind her death is the obsessed behavior of the artist. The artist can save his wife, not being more obsessed with his art. So, we never are more obsessed toward any things because it harms us.

Understanding the text:

Answer the questions

  • Where did the narrator and his servant make a forcible entrance?
  • The narrator and his servant made a forcible entrance into an old chateau which is lies between the Himalayan.

    Which special picture did the narrator notice in the room?

    The special picture that the narrator noticed in the room is a painting of a young girl just ripening into womanhood looking like living

    Describe the portrait that the narrator saw in the room.

    The portrait that the narrator saw in the room was very artistic and looks alive when rays of candelabrum fall on it. This painting is in an oval shape with a very decorative frame and the painting of a young girl who is quite beautiful looking alive.

    What is the relationship between the portrait quainter and it’s subject?

    The relationship between the portrait painter and its subject is husband and wife relation.

    Reference to text content.

    “The oval portrait” is a short horror story by Edgar Allan Poe involving the disturbing circumstances surrounding a portrait in the chateau.

    The story “The oval portrait” has presented a terrible setting of a desolate chateau. It lies in one of the mountain ranges. The chateau is completely deserted and looking horror. All materials inside that chateau are unmanaged condition. The live-looking painting is also in one of the dark corners of that deserted chateau. Due to unmanaged condition, the surrounding of the painting is very disturbing. But after the arrival of the narrator, the portrait is put out from the disturbing environment.

    “The oval portrait” suggests that the woman`s beauty condemns her to death.

    “The oval portrait” suggests that the woman`s beauty condemns her to death. Here in this story, the wife of an artist is a very beautiful young woman who just ripening to womanhood due to her beauty. The artist wants to makes his wife`s beauty immortal and starts to make paintings of his wife. During this task, the artist doesn’t notice his wife’s health condition. As a result, his wife’s health condition becomes very bad. And finally, she was dead.

    Discuss the story as a frame narrative.

    The story “The oval portrait” is the story as a frame narrative. Here Firstly, the story is about the narrator and his valet. When the narrator found the oval portrait of a beautiful lady. After that, the story about the ‘oval portrait’ started.

    The story is told in a descriptive style with plenty of imagery and symbolism which images and symbols do you find in the story.

    In this story, we find many images and symbols. The writer has used images and symbols to make the readers clear about the story. Here the darkness and unmanaged materials inside the chateau represent a horror situation. The image of the desolate chateau in the Apennines has created a beginning thriller for the audience. The various images in the darkroom like trophies, the oral painting book, rays of light, etc. This image has presented this story with a gothic element beautifully. The oval portrait symbolized immortality of love and in addition to the immortality of art. Here in the story, her love for his husband leads her to death whereas her husband’s artwork has snatched her life. In conclusion, the obsession of painters symbolized that to be more obsessed is harmful.

    What does the expression “She was dead” mean?

    In this story, we find the description of art and life. In this story, the famous artist married a beautiful girl. Due to her beauty, the artist thinks to immortalized her beauty so he involves in making her painting. His wife was very obedient. She obeyed all her husband’s suggestions and sat on the chair as her husband said. So there is no disturbance during make the painting. In this task, her husband becomes very obsessed and doesn’t care about anything around him even his wife too. This leads her wife to death and that expression in the story is “She was dead”.

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