The Marquis family’s reliance on filial piety and superstitious beliefs in practicing witchcraft is a revelation in “The Pale Blue Eye,” connecting the dark mysteries of occultisms with this family’s history. Henri Le Clerc, a well-known witch hunter and devil worshiper in the 17th century, is the ancestor of the Marquis family. The head of the family, Dr. Daniel Marquis, carried out the autopsy procedure at the academy. After Augustus Landor arrived to investigate Leroy Fry’s murder, Daniel was already under suspicion since he had purposefully disregarded a lot of suspicious evidence from Fry’s body, such as the torn fragment of a note in Fry’s fist. Though the note had nothing to do with Marquis, he didn’t want Landor to look into the body because he was aware of his son’s involvement in this crime.
Daniel Marquis was a reclusive man who didn’t talk much about his life or his family, the reason being his daughter, who had suffered from seizures since she was a child. As a responsible father, he visited every doctor and did everything to preserve his daughter, but in the end, he was told that his daughter had only three months to live. He couldn’t even sleep soundly, knowing that his child might not wake up the next morning. The fear of losing a child ate at him from within, turning him into a selfish person willing to go to any length to protect his family. So, when his daughter developed delusions that Henri was asking her to conduct satanic rituals, Daniel complied. He was so misled by his trust that he thought he could sense the progression of his daughter’s health, which was nothing more than his imagination. It was unexpected for an educated person with scientific knowledge of how the human body works to support these rituals. This strongly emphasizes that education and wisdom are not obtained through books but must be internalized in order to be used in life. Daniel may have understood the pathophysiology of seizures and how they affect the human body, but his mind was clouded by fanaticism, forcing him to reject the reality that one cannot have control over life and death. However, Julia, the wife of Daniel Marquis, didn’t quite seem to be a typical mother. We had the impression that she was more than just a regular person because of her disordered demeanor and her tendency to act craftily. She was also very naturally overwhelmed with love for her children, and she may have had some influence over her son Artemus to get him to perform such a rite because she appeared to be desperately trying to save her daughter. She was expertly chanting the spells; therefore, it’s also possible that she had experience with witchcraft. Hence, it seems likely that she was a witch who used her children as a means of obtaining perpetual life.
Lea Marquis was the heart of her family and her brother Artemus’ favorite. Although Artemus gave the impression of being a tough guy and was a strict observer of school regulations, he was terrified of death and losing his sister. These two siblings lacked the courage to accept the true fact of death. Although they were terrified of an untimely death, they didn’t feel the same about Poe’s life. While Edgar Allan Poe was passionately in love with Lea, she was merely trying to take advantage of his devotion and allegiance to her. Poe was tricked by Lea into falling into her trap so that she and her brother could offer him as a sacrifice to the Devil in exchange for better health. But destiny had written something else for them. Neither could they successfully complete the rite, nor could they survive. Landor’s interruption caused an accidental fire in their secret chamber, resulting in Lea and her brother’s deaths.
Neither Lea nor Artemus had killed anyone, but the fact was that they happened to locate the hanging body coincidentally. However, at the end of “The Pale Blue Eye,” the actual killer of Leroy and Ballinger turns out to be Augustus Landor himself. It came to light that Landor’s motive for killing those men was to avenge his daughter’s terrible death, which is why Poe appeared to have pardoned him, even though killing a person is never an acceptable offense. Yet, Poe preserved the secret because of Landor’s broken heart and their close friendship. But as Lea was one step closer to killing Poe, who was an innocent person, her crime was not one that could be forgiven. Lea and Artemus didn’t deserve to have their ultimate punishment meted out to them, but evil had taken over them, causing them to call upon their own destruction. The most important lesson Artemus and Lea might have learned was that sacrifice wasn’t associated with selfishness but emerged from love and compassion, which had no place in Lea’s heart. Meanwhile, the Marquis family was going through the same ordeal that Landor was. The difference was that Landor killed his daughter’s abusers to give his daughter the justice she deserved, whereas the Marquises about to kill someone who didn’t deserve to die in order to preserve their daughter’s life. Although it wasn’t wrong for Julia and Daniel to want their daughter to live, as all parents do, their desperation and longing for immortality also claimed their son Artemus, leaving this fanatical couple to spend the remainder of their days all alone.