The narrator suffers from catalepsy, a physical condition in which the individual cannot move or speak for hours or, in extreme cases, for months. According to the narrator’s explanation, what are some of the ways that one can tell a cataleptic is still living? Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Premature Burial,”


According to the narrator, it is possible to tell a cataleptic is still alive because a heartbeat is perceptible, the body is still warm, some color remains in the cheek, and breathing can be detected by putting a mirror to the lips. Specifically, Poe writes the cataleptic "is senseless and externally motionless; but the pulsation of the heart is still faintly perceptible; some traces of warmth remain; a slight color lingers within the centre of the cheek; and, upon application of a mirror to the lips we can detect a torpid, unequal, and vacillating action of the lungs."

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