Other than the physical altercation between Pennifeather and Goodfellow, what does Pennifeather do different from the locals and upper classes of Rattleborough?
The most obvious thing that Pennifeather does differently than the locals and upper classes of Rattleborough is he does not have much money, unlike the upper classes of the community.
And how does this difference possibly serve as a motive for murder?
The fact that Pennifeather doesn’t have much money serves as a motive for murdering his uncle because he is the only heir to his uncle’s fortune. Due to the fact that he does not have much money, and the likely only way for him to receive a fortune at some point in his life, was to murder his uncle. Further, since Pennifeather was said by Rattleborough to be soon to be cut out of the will, the time of Rattleborough’s death (prior to him writing Pennifeather out of the will) seemed that an opportune time. As Poe points out, if he had already been struck from the will, the motive would have been that of revenge, rather than of the desire for inheritance. “Had it been altered, the only supposable motive for murder on the part of the suspected would have been the ordinary one of revenge” (par. 14).
What did Goodfellow lose in his argument with Pennifeather?
Goodfellow lost his temper in his argument with Pennifeather – though it was not for long, and he was still seen as conducting himself in a way that was admirable, since he simply got up and arranged his clothes. “He arose from the blow, adjusted his clothes, and made no attempt at retaliation at all – merely muttering a few words about “taking summary vengeance at the first convenient opportunity,” – a natural and very justifiable ebullition of anger, which meant nothing… “ (par. 8).
Poe, Edgar Allen. Thou Art the Man. Eapoe.org. (2017). Accessed on Feb. 25 from