Quickwrite: What do you fear? List everything you fear, realistic or not.
Overview: We fear the evils we know Poverty, violence, disease, madness, and death The first parts we talked about were the influences of nature, optimism, and the belief in the individual Other writers in this time viewed those writings as “unrealistic,” or that “optimism was ‘nonsense’ that ignored the disagreeable facts of life” (184).
Hawthorne and Melville Hawthorne- fiction based on stories of the past History and legends of Puritan ancestors Explorations of good and evil Melville- gained literary reputation for romantic tales of adventure in the South Seas Sea stories- explore the mystery of the evil that he saw in both human life and the forces of nature
Gothic Horror Recognized the power of darkness England’s example = Shelley’s Frankenstein Relies chiefly on atmosphere and mood to achieve its effects Create an atmosphere through plot, characters, and settings = all chilling
Gothic Literature Atmosphere Plot = mysterious happenings, tragic events, and hideous outcomes Characters = often mad, half-mad, or frightened to death Strange behavior and physical traits Settings = dark and often contain decayed dwellings with shadowy passageways, haunting sounds, and damp rooms
Poe and the Terror of the Soul Most of the stories and poems deal with: Loss and sorrow Ruin and revenge Disease and death Works reflect his own troubles and fears Readers embrace it and confront their own fears
Poe and the Terror of the Soul Cont. Transcendentalists and Emerson believed that humans are inherently good Poe thought humans had dark impulses
Poe’s Short Stories He invented the new type of short fiction, the detective story First detective story = “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” It was gothic horror and solid reasoning by Poe’s fictional detective Poe’s stories show his idea that any artistic composition should have a single, unique effect
Poe’s Short Stories Cont. Poe’s stories show his idea that any artistic composition should have a single, unique effect
Comprehension Check: Answer the following question based on the excerpt you’ll see on the following slide: In what sense were Poe and Emerson both Romantics? How did their Romanticism differ?
Poe’s excerpt from “The Fall of the House of Usher” 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, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was- but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit.
Continued: I say insufferable; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasurable, because poetic, sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible. I looked upon the scene before me- upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain- upon the bleak walls- upon the vacant eye-like windows- upon a few rank sedges- and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees- with an utter depression of soul…”