Comparing Poe and Whittman
A successful writer is he who is able to transmit ideas, emotions, and wisdom on to his readers. He is cable of stirring emotions and capturing the reader's attention with vivid descriptions and clever dialogues. The writer can even play with the meanings of words and fuse reality with fiction to achieve his goal of taking the reader on a wonderful journey. His tools are but words, yet the art of writing is found in the use of the language to create though-provoking pieces that defy the changing times. Between the lines, voices and images emerge. Not everyone can write effectively and invoke these voices. It is those few who can create certain psychological effects on the reader who can seize him (or her) with inspiring teachings, frightening thoughts, and playful games with the language. These people are true writers…
In addition, authors frequently lack originality and simply take the reader on all-too-familiar voyages into politics, morals, or religion. Successful writers are those who risk and go on to write about topics that many times others have been less willing to address. The product of these extraordinary efforts is compositions richly enhanced by human feelings and real problems that we encounter and relate to our everyday lives…thought-provoking discussions about religion, philosophy, or politics. These pioneering authors are not afraid to write about evil, the perverse aspects of man, or even sexuality… Their true voices have risen from behind the words taking shape in the minds of the readers. Few have done this, but in the 19th Century two remarkable Americans produced compositions of unequal quality. Their styles and the way they approach the reader are different from those followed by other writers. These original and witty authors that have intrigued so many of their followers are Poe and Whitman. The following lines compare their unique styles with the purpose of highlighting their similarities and differences, but above all stressing their originality and expertise.
Edgar Allan Poe intrigued many with his often irrational and pessimistic descriptions in his poetry and short stories. He repeatedly wrote about phantasmagoric houses, spirits or shadows, the immoderate consumption of alcohol and opium, and seemingly inhuman characters trapped in the most grotesque and gloomy settings one can possibly imagine. The first line of "The Fall of the House of Usher" is a prime example of the latter:
During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens… (AL1508)
His descriptions are so detailed and moving that the reader can actually experience the pain and fear of the characters. Ligeia, the strange and haunting lady in the short story by the same name, is gruesomely described by Poe in the following shocking sentence:
Suddenly the colour fled, the pulsation ceased, the lips resumed the...