When seen among the constellation of Edgar Allan Poe's works culminating in Eureka, "The Colloquy of Monos and Una" and "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt," take on an important role as vehicles for scientific contemplation. Similar to early quantum physicists, such as Einstein and Schrödinger, Poe uses macro-level analogies to explore the unity of individual entities, which becomes an important tenet of his explanation of the universe. His thought experiments also resemble those of modern physics in their approach to reality as probabilistic, an idea that finds its echo in quantum field theory, which distinguishes between observed particles and their underlying existence as vibrations in a field rather than distinct units. In this thesis, I use specific examples from "Monos and Una" to demonstrate that the barrier between individuals blurs when viewed from the perspective of a unified field. I also examine ways that "Marie Rogêt" expands the idea of a unified field in terms of entangled individuals and correlated events, and pushes against the Newtonian deterministic tradition. In the context of Poe's body of work, these stories depart from the aesthetic that characterizes many of his most widely-read stories, in that their exploration of the scientific seems to overtake the narrative. However, their composition, which leaves some readers dissatisfied, expertly comments on the dichotomy between the observed and the real, and the role that narrative plays in interpreting experience.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Little, Jean A., "Poe's Entangled Fiction: Quantum Field Theory in "The Colloquy of Monos and Una" and "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt"" (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 6009.
Edgar Allan Poe, Marie Rogêt, Mary Rogers, Monos and Una, quantum, physics, entanglement, reality, probability, causation, determinism, Eureka, Dupin