Nineteenth Century Literature Essay

1888 words - 8 pages

Throughout the course of American history, America’s literature change has been evident. Compared to Volume A with the foundation of classic American pieces, the juxtaposition between early nineteenth century writers is shocking. Due to ideas such as manifest destiny and transcendentalism, the composition of literature completely changed. Evident in many works written in the early nineteenth century, American aspirations, myths, and fears, created a foundation upon which modern American writing was born.
Greatly illustrated in early nineteenth century literature, the common theme of fear severed as an underlying tone in many popular works. Famously known and critically acclaimed, Edgar Allen Poe’s stories revealed a horrifying and seemingly unknown portion of human nature. One of the many gothic writers of his era, Poe put a certain demented twist into each of his pieces. Beginning when he was just a little child, Poe witnessed several tragic deaths of loved ones. These experiences mused later works such as the Masque of the Read Death and The Raven. But while alive, Poe was nowhere near as famous as today. Dying penniless and drunk, the reason of Poe’s death remains a mystery. In his last hours he was found wandering around the streets of Baltimore, wearing another mans clothes, and muttering strange words. But as of today, his works are celebrated as the crown jewel of the nineteenth century. His extensive works demonstrate not only Poe’s person fears, but also those feared by many. Illustrated in nearly all of his works, Poe’s fear of losing his sanity is ironically evident. In the Tell-Tale Heart the short stories’ narrator becomes insane simply because he is annoyed by his roommate’s eye. Even after the narrator has clearly gone crazy, he does not admit it. Poe writes, “I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He never gave me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vultures…I made up my mind to take the man’s life ridding myself of the eye forever!” (Poe, 2699) The logic of the narrator clearly represents that of someone who is mentally insane. The narrator is using the simple flaw of the old man’s eye to justify a reason to kill him. Yet the justification of his need to rid his life of the old man leads the reader to the conclusion that the narrator thinks he is in the right. Poe addresses the idea of insanity through suppression. And there is just something completely unsettling about the narrator of a story, the one you are supposed to be able to trust, being unreliable. On top of this, the reader is left to make inferences and guesses, making his works all the creepier. Another Fear Poe illustrates in much of his literature is the death of beautiful women. Stemming from the fact that his mother, wife, foster mother, aunt, and a woman he once fell in love with all died, Poe kills off many of his beautiful female characters. In The Fall of the House of...

Find Another Essay On nineteenth century literature

Senior Paper

979 words - 4 pages Stoughton. Vol. 1. N.p.: n.p., 1908. 386-87. Rpt. in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Vol. 13. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 55. Print. Devine, Jodi A. "Letters and Their Role in Revealing Class and Personal Identity in Pride and Prejudice." Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal 27 (2005): 99+. Questia School. Web. 23 Jan. 2014. Haggerty, Andrew. Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice and Emma. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2008. Questia School. Web. 23

Charles Dickens and Lawyers in the Early Nineteenth Century

1124 words - 4 pages of literature? The image of lawyers of that time may not seem so different to the people who are about to enter the twenty-first century. One eminent historian says of the nineteenth century: Justice was dilatory, expensive, uncertain, and remote. To the rich it was a costly lottery: to the poor a denial of right, or certain ruin. The class who might profit most by its dark mysteries were the lawyers themselves. (Plucknett 73) The

America's Cultural Identity

649 words - 3 pages in the cotton field. All of these acts helped build and inspire a foundation for many of the popular culture attributes we have today. Literature and education was a growing importance in the daily lives of many Americans. During the eighteenth and nineteenth century, there was a large literary movement known as Romanticism. Romanticism parallels the Second Great Awakening because the Great Awakening was a movement against skepticism, logic

Women Oppression: From a Feminine Perspective

982 words - 4 pages Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” is the epitome of women oppression during the nineteenth century. Since Mrs. Mallard endures a severe heart disease, she poses as a threat to herself, at least in the mind of her sister Josephine. Since all of the action in the story gyrates around Mrs. Mallard’s comfort, this threating behavior is predominantly evident. Everything is composed to protect her from any impulsive and/or drastic agony. Concluding

Early American Transcendentalism

1215 words - 5 pages York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1996. 287-307. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 3 Nov. 2011. "Henry David Thoreau." Gale Online Encyclopedia. Detroit: Gale, 2011. Literature Resource Center. Web. 29 Oct. 2011. *Holmes, John Haynes. "Thoreau's 'Civil Disobedience.'." Christian Century 46 (29 June 1949): 787-789. Rpt. in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Kathy D. Darrow. Vol. 207. Detroit: Gale, 2009. Literature Resource Center

Early American Transcendentalism

1246 words - 5 pages , 2011. Literature Resource Center. Web. 29 Oct. 2011. Holmes, John Haynes. "Thoreau's 'Civil Disobedience.'." Christian Century 46 (29 June 1949): 787-789. Rpt. in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Kathy D. Darrow. Vol. 207. Detroit: Gale, 2009. Literature Resource Center. Web. 4 Nov. 2011. "Locke, John (1632-1704)." Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia of American Literature. George B. Perkins, Barbara Perkins, and Phillip Leininger. Vol. 1

A Comparative Analysis of the Meaning of Love and Its Uses in "Pride and Prejudice" and "Romeo and Juliet"

557 words - 3 pages Britannica. N.d. Web.Ewin, R.E. "Pride, Prejudice and Shyness." JSTOR. Philosophy, Vol 65, No. 252, pp. 137-154. Cambride University Press. April 1990. Web.Grzbeta, Sven. "Love Concepts in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet." N,p., N.d. Web.Johnson, Kristin J. "Love, Lust and Literature in the Sixteenth Century." JSTOR. Georgia Southern University. Spring 2009. Web.McCann, Charles J. "Setting and Character in Pride and Prejudice." JSTOR. Nineteenth

Modernism and the Modern Novel

510 words - 2 pages Modernism and the Modern Novel ============================== The term modernism refers to the radical shift in aesthetic and cultural sensibilities evident in the art and literature of the post-World War One period. The ordered, stable and inherently meaningful world view of the nineteenth century could not, wrote T.S. Eliot, accord with "the immense panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history." Modernism thus marks

Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield

1080 words - 4 pages is better contrived, and the interest more sustained, than in any other”(Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism 160). David Masson wrote in an essay in 1851 that, “according to the general voice of the critics, Copperfield is one of the best of Mr. Dickens’s stories, written with decidedly more care and effort than its immediate processors, as if the author had determined to show the captious public that his genius was fine and fresh as ever

Analysis of Gilman's story - LITR221 - essay

597 words - 3 pages . Gilman used her own experiences and the experiences that other women were going through during the time this story was written. In the nineteenth century women did not have control or say in their marriages or what happens to them. The nineteenth century was a century of Patriarchy norms. Men held the primary dominate power in families, authority over women and children and things such as politics. In The Yellow Wallpaper the husband has all the

The History of Drama from the Romantic Period to Modern Times

544 words - 2 pages come.WORKS CITED OR CONSULTED:Berggren, Barbara. "Nineteenth-Century Theatre: Toward the Modern Drama."10 February 2003.Evans, Ifor. A Short History of English Drama. London: Macgibbon & Kee, 1965.Kerensky, Oleg. The New British Drama. New York: Taplinger Press, 1979.Sanders, Andrew. The Short Oxford History of English Literature. New York: Clarendon Press, 1994.

Similar Essays

The Awakening: Sexuality In Nineteenth Century Literature

1499 words - 6 pages . Although concerns regarding sexuality still remain, society's tolerance level has changed dramatically over time. The history of attitudes toward sex and sexuality is a cultural process that can be seen through the literature of an era. The Awakening was the first piece of American fiction to blatantly attack the nineteenth century notion that marriage, emotional intimacy and sexual intimacy were inextricably bound together. Chopin's novel was

Exploring Treatment Of Women In Nineteenth Century Through Literature

2959 words - 12 pages Exploring Treatment of Women in Nineteenth Century through Literature In the Nineteenth Century, women were treated very differently to the way they are today. Modern day society relies on the basis that there should be equality between men and women in all aspects of life and there have been laws put in place such as the Sex Discrimination Act to help reflect these policies. Authors who lived during the Nineteenth

Rights Of Women In The Nineteenth Century And In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

1095 words - 4 pages & Company, inc., 2009. 649-653. Print. SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on A Doll’s House.” SparkNotes LLC. n.d. 2002. Web. 20 Mar. 2012 “The Nineteenth Century: Realism and Symbolism.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature, shorter 2nd edition, vol.2. Eds. Petter Simon and Conor Sullivan. New York, London: W. W Norton& Company, inc., 2009. 509-515. Print.

How People Interacted With Eac Essay

1067 words - 4 pages from all over Europe to study in Italy. Also during the Renaissance Italian literature, clothing, furniture, and art were imitated in Holland, France, Germany, Spain and England (Renaissance 30). In the nineteenth-century England and Wales were divided into fifty-two counties. In this century the English hunted foxes (Pool 24). The middle of London, known as "The City", dropped from one hundred twenty-eight thousand to fifty thousand