Poe's Short Stories

The Oval Portrait

But it could have been neither the execution of the work, nor the immortal beauty of the countenance, which had so suddenly and so vehemently moved me. Least of all, could it have been that my fancy, shaken from its half slumber, had mistaken the head for that of a living person. I saw at once that the peculiarities of the design, of the vignetting, and of the frame, must have instantly dispelled such idea—must have prevented even its momentary entertainment.
What is the effect of parallelism in this excerpt?

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The painting is beautiful, as is the subject, but the narrator had momentarily mistaken it for a living person, although it is obviously a painting. He continues to observe the portrait to determine how the painting had caused the effect before respectfully returning the candelabrum to its previous position so that he cannot see the painting.

The oval portrait indicates the tension between the impermanence of life and the intransience of art. The portrait's subject is full of life when she marries the painter, but the as the guide book says, "The tints which he spread upon the canvas were drawn from the cheeks of her who sat beside him." With his artistic powers, he has created a double of his wife, but as in "William Wilson," both cannot simultaneously subsist for long without one defeating the other. The history of the painting suggests that although the metamorphosis from life to eternal art may create a masterful work of beauty that simulates life, the narrator is only deceived by his "dreamy stupor" and by the sudden reveal of the painting from the dark. A second, more intense look at the painting reveals the illusion, and similarly, the painter of the story ends by giving up his wife for a mere image.