This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Gothic Theme Of Edgar Allen Poe's Work

1474 words - 6 pages

Edgar Allen Poe was an English short-story writer whose work reflects the traditional Gothic conventions of the time that subverted the ambivalence of the grotesque and arabesque. Through thematic conventions of the Gothic genre, literary devices and his own auteur, Edgar Allan Poe’s texts are considered sublime examples of Gothic fiction. The Gothic genre within Poe’s work such as The Tell-Tale Heart, The Black Cat, and The Raven, arouse the pervasive nature of the dark side of individualism and the resulting encroachment of insanity. Gothic tales are dominated by fear and terror and explore the themes of death and decay. The Gothic crosses boundaries into the realm of the unknown, arousing extremes of emotion through the catalyst of disassociation and subversion of presence. Gothic literature utilises themes of the supernatural to create a brooding setting and an atmosphere of fear.
The Gothic dimensions of Poe’s fictional world offered him a way to explore the human mind in extreme situations, and so arriving at an essential truth. The Gothic theme of the importance of the intuitive and emotional and the rejection of the rational and intellectual is prevalent throughout The Raven, The Black Cat, and The Tell-Tale Heart. This is coupled with the convention of transgressive, encroaching insanity, ubiquitous in Gothic literature. In The Tell-Tale Heart, a kind of psychological doubling is achieved by the narrator- an identification with the old man at the time of disturbing him in the middle of the night, and a psychopathic detachment, evidenced by the feeling of triumph and elation that precedes the murder in the extract “..so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror”. Hysteria is pertinent in Gothic texts, and is a diagnostic label applied to a state of mind, one of unmanageable fear or emotional excesses. This fear is often centred on a body part, and people who are 'hysterical' often lose self-control due to overwhelming fear. This hysterical fear is symbolised within The Tell-Tale Heart through the avian enigma of the “vulture eye”, a representation of the narrator’s psychological condition. In The Black Cat, the narrator presents himself as a battleground between the forces of benevolence through emblematic ideals of affection, and the forces of evil by the causation of death and apathetic suffering. The narrator, however also strives to detach himself from moralising through the powers of reason and calculation, presenting the narrative in terms of "very natural causes and effects" instead of the latent, presumably supernatural, mishaps that refused to be acknowledged. The narrator also, through synecdoche, continues to question “How then, am I mad?”, foreshadowing inept hysteria and employs the plea of false innocence, in turn reflecting the Gothic element of encroaching insanity.
The creation of heightened emotions is a key component in Gothic literature and is respectively featured in Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven,...

Find Another Essay On The Gothic Theme of Edgar Allen Poe's Work

Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" Essay

1101 words - 4 pages "The Raven"The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe, is a poem about sadness, loss of hope, and lost love. The poem takes place at night "upon a midnight dreary." The poem examines emotions felt by a young man who has lost his lover to death. The following essay will examine these feelings, and try to distinguish the meaning of the poem.The first stanza seems to set the mood of the poem, "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary." Its

Two Views on Edgar Allen Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado"

741 words - 3 pages Two Views on Edgar Allen Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado"Edgar Allen Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" is a short story which refers to the burying alive of a man done out of revenge. One of the two main characters, Montresor states in the first line of the story " The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured insult, I vowed revenge" (Poe, 95). One can see the hatred he felt toward this character Fortunato

Critical Anaylsis of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Bells"

4633 words - 19 pages Edgar Allen Poe, one of America's best known poets, may have been one of the most misunderstood writers of all times. Because his poems often depict scenes of violence, death and decay, people have often thought of Poe, not as the literary genius that he was, but as something of a "madman". For example, William Butler Yates claims that Poe's works were nothing short of ".... a vulgar and commonplace lunatic's attempt at writing." ( Yates Poetry

Edgar Allen Poe's Gothicism

696 words - 3 pages work with gothic literature and his life as a depressed child, adult, and man has caused madness to be a common influence for in his literature. Another frequent component in the 19th century gothic literature of Edgar Allen Poe was the use of ironic twists. The previously unmentioned Spanish Inquisition that appeared in Pit And The Pendulum and saved the imprisoned character was a prime example of an ironic and unexpected twist to the story of

Edgar Allen Poe's Cask of Amontillado

930 words - 4 pages CASK OF AMONTILLADO Edgar Allen Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado is a story of fear and revenge. The dark side of human nature is exemplified through the character of Montressor and his victim, Fortunato. The story begins with Montressor’s vow of revenge. This is proven in the first sentence when Montressor says, “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne best I could; but when he ventured

Gothic Literature in America. Looks specifically at Edgar Allen Poe's Tell Tale Heart

1259 words - 5 pages unexplainable events. Supernatural and unexplainable events are very important to the plot of a gothic story. Often, they act as the backbone of the plot and much of the story rests upon them. In Edgar Allen Poe's work, they act as the coincidence drivers as well as supply some of the omens and visions, another element of gothic literature. Without the element of supernatural and unexplainable events, much of the gothic literature would not stand on

Gothic setting and characters in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher"

797 words - 3 pages "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...as the shades of the evening drew on...with the view of the melancholy House of Usher" (Pg. 1534). With these words, Edgar Allan Poe begins one of his most famous works, The Fall of the House of Usher, a tale of horror, a horror implemented through Poe's gothic description of his settings and his characters.The

Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart and the Symbolism of the Eye

1242 words - 5 pages Edgar Allen Poe is the genius responsible for dark, twisting, and often uncomfortably wondrous gothic tales, and one of the best is 'The Tell-Tale Heart.' This is a classic tale of a confused man who is so incredibly bothered by his housemate's eye, that he (I am assuming this sexless character is male) thinks the only solution is to resort to cold-blooded murder. Poe incorporates the symbol of the old man's eye in 'The Tell-Tale Heart,' which

Edgar Allen Poe's The Black Cat, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado

1647 words - 7 pages Edgar Allen Poe's 'The Black Cat,' 'The Tell-Tale Heart' and 'The Cask of Amontillado' In each of Edgar Allen Poe's stories of murder and madness, he takes us inside the mind of the murderer from the time he begins until after the deed has been done. Poe gives us a point of view not common in works of horror and suspense: the killers. We read the thoughts and follow the actions of the killer as he plots and follows through with his

Gotic Themes in Edgar Allen Poe's "the tell-tale Heart"

1347 words - 5 pages In "The Tell-Tale Heart," Edgar Allan Poe revolves the story around a raving individual and the object in which he obsesses over. This theme of insanity is progressed throughout the entire story by Poe's style of gothic writing. Gothic-style writing is defined by using these elements: abnormal psychological behavior, creating a gloomy or threatening atmosphere, connections between the setting and its characters' thought processes or behavior

Edgar Allen Poe's "Murders In the Rue Morgue"

945 words - 4 pages In Edgar Allen Poe's short story, 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue', aclassic detective story is played out in a seedy Paris suburb. The story begins asthe narrator meets Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin, a poor but well-read young man.As they become close friends, they live together in seclusion, departing onlybriefly each evening to take introspective strolls along the dark Paris streets.Soon both the reader and the narrator begin to see Dupin's

Similar Essays

Edgar Allen Poe's Use Of Gothic Setting In The Fall Of The House Of Usher

1062 words - 4 pages Edgar Allen Poe's Use of Gothic Setting in The Fall of the House of Usher "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe has a gothic horror story setting. Gothic means that the author emphasizes the mysterious, the horrible, the ghostly and the fear that can be aroused in the reader. Everyone knows that a gothic story or a ghost story will often have a setting that will be in an old, decaying mansion far out in a desolate

Edgar Allen Poe's The Cask Of Amontillado

971 words - 4 pages Edgar Allen Poe's The Cask of Amontillado Edgar Allen Poe's brings us a twisted tale of vengeance and horror in "The Cask of Amontillado." Poe's character, Montresor, acts as our guide and narrator through this story. He grabs a hold of the reader as he tells the story from his own apathetic and deceptive mind to gain vengeance from the weak and dismal Fortunato. Montresor's mentality is disturbing as he uses his clever, humor, ironic

Analysis Of Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven

1221 words - 5 pages Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most well-known gothic writers around. He has written many form of writing from poems to short stories. One of his most famous narrative poems is “The Raven.” There are many reasons to read the “The Raven.” One reason to read the poem is because it is a classic. Secondly, reading “The Raven” can give sight to Poe’s thoughts and feelings towards his life. Thirdly, the poem is a good example of the mind set of someone

The Main Theme In Edgar Allen Poe's Five Short Stories

1806 words - 8 pages of the house, including the basement. He tapped on one of the walls and they heard a loud scream. When they found the body, the missing cat was sitting on her head. The biggest symbol in this story is the alcohol. Edgar Allan Poe was a alcoholic for much of his life. As I continued reading the stories, I found important similarities between them. “The Cask of Amontillado” is a gothic story. Montressor, the narrator, starts off the story by