Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Edgar Allan Poe's The Man of the Crowd. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Man of the Crowd: Introduction
The Man of the Crowd: Plot Summary
The Man of the Crowd: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Man of the Crowd: Themes
The Man of the Crowd: Quotes
The Man of the Crowd: Characters
The Man of the Crowd: Symbols
The Man of the Crowd: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Edgar Allan Poe
Historical Context of The Man of the Crowd
Other Books Related to The Man of the Crowd
- Full Title: The Man of the Crowd
- When Written: 1840
- Where Written: Philadelphia, United States
- When Published: 1840
- Literary Period: Romantic, Early Victorian
- Genre: Gothic, Gothic Mystery
- Setting: The streets of London during a busy evening in autumn
- Climax: The narrator tries to confront the mysterious old man he has been following, but the old man simply ignores him and continues on his way.
- Antagonist: The story has no traditional antagonist, but the old man whom the narrator follows is presented as mysterious in a sinister, antagonistic way.
- Point of View: First Person Limited
Extra Credit for The Man of the Crowd
Genre Pioneer. Edgar Allan Poe is widely considered to be the inventor of the detective fiction genre. “The Man of the Crowd” features a few early elements of the genre, such as the protagonist making deductions about the people he watches based on the minute details of their physical appearance and mannerisms.
The Unreadable Book. The German book that Poe mentions at the beginning and end of the story is Hortulus Animae, which was printed in roughly 1500 in Germany. It was a once-popular prayer book, but according to Poe’s unknown source, it “does not permit itself to be read,” either because it contained something too horrible to be fully read or simply because there were no existing copies at the time.