Edgar Allan Poes The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838) is a work which has provoked most diverse readings. Using popular genres such as the seaadventure story and the narrative of discovery, mixed with set pieces of journalistic and fictional sensationalism, the novel caters on the one hand to the tastes of a mass audience. On the other hand, the fictional form encourages an allegorical reading, while at the same time resisting, in a manner characteristic of Poe and the dark Romantics in general, an unambiguous decoding of its meaning. One possible approach is to access the novel as an allegorical dream journey. Along these lines, the text can be read as the narrative of an extensive nightmare experience of a melancholic mind haunted by dark visions of destruction and self-destruction. These individual visions, however, also reflect in a coded form the collective anxieties, obsessions and conflicts of the Jacksonian Era. Thus, the mutiny-motif in the first part renders the apocalyptic vision of a revolution ending up in a state of chaos, anarchy and bloodshed. The second part projects in a similarly nightmarish-apocalyptic manner the disastrous effects of colonialist suppression and exploitation. Thus, the individual nightmare vision of the narrator figure stands for the collective nightmares which haunted large sections of American pre-Civil War society. Looking at Poes work from todays perspective, it even gains significance as a prophetic vision anticipating the political horrors of our own time.