Writer of the Raven, and many other books and poems, Edgar Allan Poe excelled in what he wrote. He is also known as the one who started writing in the two major literary forms that we know today, the detective stories and horror thrillers…
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This paper shall move to examine his great work, “The Fall of The House of The Usher”. The reason for the choosing this work is because it highlights an important characteristic of Poe’s work in the context of the Sublime. This piece of work is one of the most significant out of Poe’s works. Considered to be at the zenith of gothic literature, this is an amazing piece, which captivates the reader. From the very beginning, Poe uses phrases like “...dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year....” (Apuntes, Trabajos, Examenes, Practicas y Otros documentos, n.d, n.p), which shows the mood setting of the story to be dreary and gloomy from the very start. This story is different from many works of Poe because in others he narrates a story through the perpetrator who confides a crime he/she did. However, in this story, the narrator is merely an observer. This story stands out from the rest and outline gothic literature at its peak when “the unearthly storm which accompanies Madeline's return from the tomb, helps to convey the terror that overwhelms and finally destroys the fragile mind of Roderick Usher” (Poe Decoder, n.d, n.p). We shall analyse the whole story and the complete theoretical concept under the light of the concept of the Sublime. The sublime has always been a term debated “The idea of the sublime is essential to an understanding of Gothic poetics and, especially, the attempt to defend or justify the literature of terror “ (Anson, n.d, n.p). It includes portraying a sight through grandiose words. Its use in Gothic literature helps to depict a terrorizing view and to scare the reader. According to Edmund Burke,” the sublime is anything that ‘is productive of the strongest emotion the mind is capable of feeling” (Example Essays, n.d, n.p). Hence, the Sublime is highly crucial when using gothic literature. Like most of Poe’s works, in this work particularly, the sublime theme becomes prominent. This story depicts a gloomy, forbidding looking house, which is, in essence, an example of the sublime and gothic literature for which Edgar Allan Poe was famous. The whole story draws us near to concepts such as death and incurable disease, and depicts a hopeless situation which, no matter what, “is ultimately overshadowed by the awe-filled and terrifying specter of death” (Bloom & Hobby, 2010, pp.45-46). Poe indicates the house as being grotesque and outlandish in the way it appears to be looking forbidding. Phrases such as “white trunks of decayed trees” and “bleak walls” portray a very somber picture. We come to know that Roderick is ill mentally and suffers from a disease, which runs in the family, and we are told his sister suffers the same fate. The story is left open to the reader for analyzing in the end, which makes it stand out. The Gothic way of writing highlights itself throughout the story, especially when Madeline is buried alive and then returns to kill her diseased brother. The sublime is thoroughly depicted throughout the story and huge words are used to portray grotesque images and the outrageous setting of the story. The decaying house sets the mood for gothic literature and so do the few characters in the story. The narrator, Roderick and Madeline are the main people in the story. In the end, the
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Edgar Allan Poe has been credited for creating the modern Gothic genre, which is clearly illustrated in his works, the poem “The Raven,” and his short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart.” By his own essays, Poe defines his utilization of language, parallels, and themes in an attempt to craft great poetry through careful technique that will have the ability to reach his readership on a transcendent level.
The genre was later on carried forward by the authors like Charles Maturin, Ann Radcliffe, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe and Daphne du Maurier. The special attributes of Gothic fiction are romance as well as horror. The romance is shown in the background of horror. The horror is both physical and psychological, or inward and outward. Gothic fiction contains the story on mystery, supernatural ghosts, haunted eerie places, Gothic architecture, darkness, decay, hereditary curses and such terrible themes.
He was schooled at Chelsea and subsequently moved to university of Virginia in order to get expertise in Latin and poetry. During those days, he used to compose some tales and short stories. Despite the adoption, he couldn’t get adequate financial support from his foster father; and that forced Poe to cease his studies.
Poe’s mysterious style of writing received a lot of criticism over the years and Harold Bloom compared his poetry with Wordsworth in the following manner. Wordsworth and Poe are thus telling symmetrically inverse stories about the nature of poetic language.
This poem is in form of a narration where the persona talks about his grief over the death of a beautiful woman. The main theme is undying devotion where the narrator experiences a conflict over the desire to let go of the grief over his dead lover or to continue grieving.
Both Edgar Allen Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne use fear as a tool in their writing, yet they are not both writing in gothic tradition. While Poe uses symbolism, darkness, and death imagery to terrify the reader, Hawthorne chooses to use parable to educate the reader, with fear being merely an afterthought. In Poe’s “Ligeia”, death and darkness are used as the setting to create a scene of terror, after creating a scene of love for the lost “Ligeia”.
The innate flaws of the character and the metonymic way in which Poe melds the characters with traits demonstrate the use of narrative voice and language to establish a relationship between narrator and reader. This is done in vastly different ways in both the Poe stories.
After her death, the world became gloomy for him. A friend said about him, "the loss of his wife was a sad blow to him. He did not seem to care, after she was gone, whether he lived an hour, a day, a week or a year; she was his all." Poe described Virginia Clemm Poe as
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