Edgar Allen Poe's Gothicism Essay

696 words - 3 pages

Edgar Allen Poe Gothicism

When the name Edgar Allen Poe is mentioned the thoughts of horror, shock, and terror come to the common readers mind. Some though, think more powerful words such as revolutionary, intellectual, or gothic. Poe’s works such as Pit And The Pendulum, The Tell-Tale Heart, Hop-Frog, and The Fall of the House of Usher are considered to be staple works of the 19th century gothic genre. Elements of gothic writing include the number seven, madness, and ironic twists.

E.A. Poe used the number seven in his writings to express his gothic style of literature. For example, in Pit And The Pendulum when the character attempted to map his dark surroundings, he counted 52 paces before he had swooned. In reality, the room was only 25 yards in circumference. Addition tell us that 5 plus 2 equals 7 and also in reverse that 2 plus 5 equals 7. Also, in The Tell-Tale Heart the homicidal murderer had stalked his victims eye for 7 nights before killing him on the eighth night. In Hop-Frog, the king had a total of 7 councilors. Finally, in The Fall of the House of Usher, the Usher family memorial in the basement was filled with 7 tombs of dead Usher relatives. Poe’s use of the number seven is found constant through many of his short stories and other works of literature.

Madness is also a common element in Poe’s works. For instance, in Pit And The Pendulum, the character embraces a point of madness as the pendulum slowly swings toward him but eventually overcomes his madness to save himself from the pendulum. Madness is also found in The Tell-Tale Heart becomes the madness embraces the murderer of the novel as he obsesses and distresses over the eye of the old man whom he eventually destroys and dismembers it also infects the character when he is stricken with the guilt of his horrible act. Also, Hop-Frog shows signs of madness as well when Hop-Frog becomes infuriated with the King and his seven councilors...

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