Morella is a short gothic story by Edgar Allan Poe, and its first version was published in 1835 in the Southern Literary Messenger. The revised last version was published in 1839 in Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine.
Morella By Edgar Allan Poe
The narrator of this tale is an unnamed man who marries Morella, an intellectual and educated woman, becoming her husband’s teacher. Morella was not a social girl; she attached herself to her husband, who only felt a deep and singular affection towards her. Her talents were uncommon since she possessed a profound erudition because of her powerful mind. In particular, Morella became very fond of early German literature, with a preference for the books The Wild Pantheism by Fichte, the modified by Pythagoreans, and the doctrines of Identity by Schelling. With time, Morella changed her manners, affecting her husband, who did not feel any affection for her anymore. On the contrary, he felt a repulsion, which she understood and accepted, claiming that Fate was responsible.
The Death And Rebirth Of Morella
At the time of her death, Morella gave birth to a daughter whose father never anointed or named. The mental and physical developments of the child were impressive and shocked her father. The resemblance of the unnamed child with her late mother, Morella, was unbelievable and unnatural. Indeed, it seemed that Morella never died. When Morella reached 10, her father decided to baptise her. At the baptismal font, the man whispered Morella as the chosen name for his daughter, and something disquieting happened with a final twist surprising the readers. In Morella by Edgar Allan Poe, the supernatural is the main force of the tale. Indeed, the unusual and inexplicable events are related to the unnatural nature of Morella and the world of the occult. Morella is a name which might include a symbolic meaning; it could be linked to the morel, black nightshade, considered a poisonous weed.
The Unicity Of Morella
Unlike other female characters in the novels by Edgar Allan Poe, Morella kept her unicity because she embraced an intellectual personality and feminine traits. Her husband begins to hate this superiority of his wife, and he does not tolerate and accept it anymore. That was the moment when Morella embraced her mysterious and metaphysical nature. Morella might be a vampire or a witch because of her devilish spirit; an aspect of her will be revealed once the husband ceases to respect and love her as she would have deserved. Differently from Berenice, Morella is not a passive victim of her husband. Morella can influence the decrees of life, death and time thanks to her supernatural powers. She is a superhuman and an unearthly lady—her demoniac nature is stepped into superior spiritual excellence.