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The Week of October 27, 2012 Edgar Allan Poe and Gothic Literature

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1 The Week of October 27, 2012 Edgar Allan Poe and Gothic Literature

2 Important Concepts of EAP Unit
Elements of Gothic Literature Background on Edgar Allen Poe Comprehension of “The Masque of the Red Death” and “The Raven” Literary Elements: Allegory, Archetypes, Allusion, Symbolism, Unreliable Narrator Vocabulary Connecting historical plagues and current events with the “Red Death” Summary, Making Connections, Note-Taking

3 Elements of Gothic Literature
What makes a work Gothic is a combination of at least some of these elements: a castle, ruined or intact, haunted or not; ruined buildings which are sinister or which arouse a pleasing melancholy; dungeons, underground passages, crypts, and catacombs which, in modern houses, become spooky basements or attics;

4 Gothic Elements continued:
labyrinths, dark corridors, and winding stairs, shadows, a beam of moonlight in the blackness, a flickering candle, or the only source of light failing (a candle blown out or an electric failure), extreme landscapes, like rugged mountains, thick forests, or icy wastes, and extreme weather, omens and ancestral curses,

5 …yet more Gothic Elements:
magic, supernatural manifestations, or the suggestion of the supernatural, a passion-driven, willful villain-hero or villain, a curious heroine with a tendency to faint and a need to be rescued–frequently, a hero whose true identity is revealed by the end of the novel, horrifying (or terrifying) events or the threat of such happenings.

6 Gothic Architecture

7 Chartres Cathedral, Chartres, France

8 Interior of Chartres Cathedral

9 Elevation of Chartres Cathedral

10 Rosslyn Chapel Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland Built in 1456


12 “For some of us--and I include myself, the prospect of safely experiencing dread or horror is thrilling and enjoyable.” Lilia Melani

13 "I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity
"I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity." — Edgar Allan Poe 19th Century Genius Edgar Allan Poe

14 Parents: Biological Parents: The Poes David—drank heavily
Elizabeth—deserted by husband and died at young age Edgar was left an orphan Adopted Parents: The Allans John—became Edgar’s guardian and provided for his education, but never supported his decisions Francis—adored Edgar, but never legally adopted him Edgar took Allan as his middle name, wanted to feel like he belonged

15 Writing Career: Most known for his Gothic writings
Gothic-a genre of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance. Nicknamed “The Father of the Detective Story” Most respected for his career as an essayist and editor of the Southern Literary Messenger

16 Writing Career: Most prestigious poem—”The Raven”
Other detective stories “The Purloined Letter” “The Fall of the House of Usher” “The Cask of Amontillado” “The Tell-Tale Heart”

17 Personal Life: Lived with his Aunt, Maria Clemm, during times of financial hardship Fell in love and married Clemm’s daughter, Virginia, when she was 13 Virginia was Poe’s cousin

18 Tragedy: Many people close to Poe died.
Mrs. Poe-tuberculosis Mrs. Allan-tuberculosis Virginia-tuberculosis Much of his life was lived in poverty. He was never able to provide for his wife.

19 Death: Found half-dead in an alley in Baltimore.
Died 4 days later in a hospital. Cause of death was unknown, but could be attributed to alcoholism, drugs, or other illness.

20 Just some Facts: Poe always wore black—reinforcing the Gothic theme.
Always spoke in a whisper or low tones, even in a violent discussion. Wrote a short story about travelling to the moon.

21 Poe

22 Masque of the Red Death

23 The bubonic plague - The Black Death
Began in Sicily in 1347 Carried on ships from the East Carriers were rats/fleas! Trading ships carried the plague inland to Italy Conditions in the cities was perfect for the plague No regulated garbage collections Refuse accumulated in piles in the streets Rushes were used instead of rugs—creating a breeding ground for vermin No running water—no regular bathing

24 The bubonic plague - The Black Death
Precautions: Isolation “play today for we die tomorrow” Flee! Result: Bodies piled up in the streets and were removed with carts Mass burials in ditches Fleas on Rats

25 Shroud: (verb) to cover, screen, or hide

26 tangible: (adjective) something you can physically touch or mentally wrap your mind around

27 Piquancy: (adjective) spicy, hot, caliente!

28 Habiliments: (plural noun) clothes

29 Imperial: (adjective) royal, kingly

30 Castellated: (verb, past tense) like a castle

31 Pestilence: (noun) a disease

32 Propriety: (adjective) having good, proper manners

33 Buffoon: (noun) usually an ill-educated or stupid person; clown.

34 Visage: (noun) a face

35 Reveler: (noun) a party-goer

36 Profuse: (adjective) having a great abundance

37 Ebony: (adjective) synonym for black

38 Sedated: (verb, past tense) drowsy, very tired

39 Emanating: (verb) to come out from a source

40 Sagacious: (adjective) wise

41 Cessation: (noun) stopping

42 Pervaded: (verb—past tense) to completely fill

43 Contagion: (noun) something that spreads rapidly

44 What does the color blue represent?
The east (directional not cultural) Beginnings Birth “unknown”- (Bolt out of the blue.) Sin: Lust Nature: water It can also mean: peace, tranquility, calm, stability, harmony, unity, trust, truth, confidence, order, security, cleanliness, loyalty, cold, technology, depression.

45 What does the color purple represent?
Combination of blue (birth) and red (life/intensity) Beginnings of growth A period of life when something was accomplished Sin: Pride Nature: animals It can also mean: royalty, spirituality, nobility, ceremony, mystery, transformation, wisdom, enlightenment, cruelty, arrogance, mourning.

46 What does the color green represent?
“spring of life”- (In the prime of his years) Youth Sin: Envy Nature: plants It can also mean: nature, environment, health, good luck, renewal, youth, vigor, spring, envy, generosity, jealousy, inexperience

47 What does the color orange represent?
Summer/autumn of life- (beyond his prime but not yet old) “The harvest or fulfillment of human labor and ambition.” - Kermit Vanderbilt Sin: Gluttony Nature: energy/ Balance – Sun It can also mean: energy, balance, warmth, enthusiasm, vibrancy, expansiveness, flamboyance, demands for attention, often worn by the self-sacrificing hero, worn by Buddhist monk

48 What does the color white represent?
Suggests age White hair Bones Decomposition- approaching death Nature: The Sun It can also mean: reverence, purity, simplicity, cleanliness, peace, humility, precision, innocence, youth, birth, winter, snow, good, marriage (in Western cultures), cold, death (in Eastern cultures)

49 What does the color violet represent?
Combination of purple/blue or purple/grey Shadowy color Represents gravity, chastity, somberness- the dignity of old age

50 What does the color black represent?
DEATH!!! The west (directional not cultural) Nature: primordial void It can also mean: power, sophistication, formality, elegance, wealth, mystery, fear, evil, depth, anonymity, unhappiness, style, sadness, remorse, anger, underground, mourning, death

51 In conclusion… West Death Endings Sunset East Life Beginnings Sunrise

52 Literary Elements Gothic literature: genre of literature that combines both horror and romance Unreliable narrator: narrator who may not always know the whole truth or may purposely choose to deceive the reader. Allusion: a reference to another body of work which acts like a kind of shorthand, bringing additional meaning and emotional impact to a story, like the use of the terms “Achilles’ heel” (Watch for this as we read!)

53 Allegory …is an extended metaphor that is carried throughout an story or novel. It features a set of recognizable symbols whose meanings combine to convey a message. An allegory always operates on two levels of meaning: the literal elements of the plot (the colors of the rooms, for example) and their symbolic counterparts, which often involve large philosophical concepts (such as life and death). The underlying meaning has moral, social, religious, or political significance, and characters are often personifications of abstract ideas as charity, greed, or envy.

54 Quickwrite “Fear of failure must never be a reason not to try something.”
Rich and powerful people often build huge houses. They build high walls around their estates so that they can block out the upsetting parts of life, just like Prince Prospero. If you were Prince Prospero and could hide from your fears, what would you hide from? Would you hide? Or would you face your fear?

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