Poe's Short Stories

Disability is Not Inability: Representation of Disabilities in Poe's “Hop-Frog” College

Upon first reading, Edgar Allen Poe’s “Hop-Frog” appears to be a revenge tale that might leave the reader thinking that the victims of slavery end up as big as monsters as their captors after they exact their revenge and make their escape. According to John Carlos Rowe, Edgar Allan Poe’s “‘Hop-Frog’ tells the story of tyranny, slavery, and revolution” (78). However, through the lens of disability studies, "Hop-Frog" takes on new meaning as it adds another layer of representation to consider when one reads the story. Poe gives his characters with disabilities power and agency, in a way that challenges stereotypes people have about people with disability.

The same applies to the general representation and the notion that the physically handicapped and challenged people have limitations with regards to their movement, capability, have emotional problems and intellectually incapacitated. For example, Hop-Frog goes beyond this representation and the stereotypes to portray the positive attributes of the group and highlights that despite the biological limitations of the character, he strangely and cunningly plans a revenge on the King and the ministers. Therefore, this shows that despite physical or biological limitations, disability...

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