This probably won’t come as a surprise to anybody, but I adore the work of Edgar Allan Poe. The Raven is my favourite piece of his writing. It is simple, yet haunting.
The Simpsons did a parody version which is actually one of my favourite iterations of the poem. In today’s post, I’ll be sharing why I enjoyed this version as much as I have over the years!
I will be using images from the episode in this post under the fair use act. I don’t claim any ownership of the images used. Read my disclaimer for information.
The episode this story is in begins with Bart, Lisa and Maggie sitting in their treehouse on Halloween telling horror stories.
Homer plays the role of the tormented soul grieving the loss of his love, Lenore. The Raven is Bart, and James Earl Jones voices the narrator of the story.
James Earl Jones has the perfect voice for such an ominous story. His voice in the episode keeps the story of The Raven on track, while Homer and Bart’s comedic presence gives it that unique brand of comedy that The Simpsons delivers. You get the perfect mix of the horror Poe created, and the outlandish nature of The Simpsons without the immersion being broken.
It’s still The Raven, but with a comedic twist.
The voices of Bart and Homer fit the parody aspect of The Simpsons well.
Within the main Simpsons continuity, Bart and Homer often have an antagonistic relationship. Bart is usually the one to annoy Homer, and Homer aggressively responds.
In the story of The Raven, the bird and its repeating of the word “nevermore” seems to distress the protagonist further. As the poem goes on, we see the protagonists decent into madness. As a character, Bart annoys his father to the extent of insanty, and reacts in a brutish manner. Much like the end of the story in the episode.
With Homer losing his patience with Bart, he knocks books everywhere, and the raven gets the better of the situation. Much like the protagonist of The Raven, Homer descended into madness.
Everything about this episode fits together perfectly. It’s dark, it’s outlandish, but it doesn’t stray from the source material at all.
Hearing Homer speak in the dialect Edgar Allan Poe would is hilarious, Bart playing a tormenting soul is perfect, and the episode ending the way it did with Homer being terrified of the stories sums up the character perfectly.
What is your favourite Treehouse of Horror episode/segment?
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