Elements Of American Gothic Literature: Edgar Allan Poe

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May 14 2017
American gothic Literature: Edgar Allan Poe

Author during this time period included: Edgar Allan Poe. Elements of American gothic literature were rational vs. irrational, puritanism, guilt, ghosts, and monsters, At times American Gothic Literature would seem to mock transcendentalism with the character going insane and becoming irrational. At times American Gothic Literature would seem to mock transcendentalism with the character going insane and becoming irrational. Poe edited multiple literary journals and it was during this time in which he established himself as a writer. He published many works. Poe was one of the earliest American writers to focus on the short story
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And even though he was a pioneer in the development of horror and the grotesque in American literature, not that many people think him first and foremost as a Southern writer. He had a unique and dark way of writing. His mysterious style of writing appeals to emotion and drama. Poe's most impressionable works of fiction are gothic. His stories tend to have the same recurring theme of either death, lost love or both. American gothic fiction is a subgenre of gothic fiction. Elements specific to American Gothic include: rationality/rational vs. irrational, puritanism, guilt, Das Unheimliche (strangeness within the familiar as defined by Sigmund Freud), ab-humans, ghosts, monsters, and domestic abjection. The roots of these concepts lay in a past riddled with slavery, a fear of racial mixing (miscegenation), hostile Native American relations, their subsequent genocide, and the daunting wilderness present at the American frontier. American gothic is often devoid of castles and objects which allude to a civilized history. Differentiating between horror and terror is important in the study of these texts. Considered the quintessential American Gothic writer, Poe's epic story, The Fall of the House of Usher (1839) reveals the tragedy of Rodrick Usher, who suffers from a variety of mental health disorders not even invented or named by modern psychology when Poe wrote about them: hyperesthesia (sensory overload), hypochondria, and acute anxiety. It’s a stellar tale sure to disturb and delight the reader. Characteristics of the Gothic include: death and decay, haunted homes/castles, family curses, madness, powerful love/romance, ghosts, and vampires. The genre is said to have become popular in the late 18th century with the publication of Horace Walpole's novel The Castle of Otranto in
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