The Dark Side of Poe
Edgar Allen Poe took romanticism to the next level by inadvertently helping to create Dark (Gothic) Romanticism. Poe was not a big writer in America because people in America did not appreciate his writings at that time, but in France he was one of the biggest writers. “Even though many contemporaries in America did not appreciate his work, Poe was hailed as a genius in circles of French intellectuals” (Grieneisen 22). Dark Romanticism helped people let go of the things that were bottled up on the inside. Poe’s interest into the dark side of writing probably came about to try and intrigue Americans to get behind him and his writings. The creation of monsters, vampires, ...view middle of the document...
With all the things Poe dealt with in his life he needed an outlet in order to try and keep his own sanity.
Poe’s writings have an enormous amount of emotions. I think the short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” is directly linked to the things that Poe dealt with during his early years of life. This short story was an outlet for the writer to let go of the things he had been holding in for so long. This short story was actually published after the death of his grandfather. The link between Roderick and Lady Madeline was just like the link between Poe and his grandfather. In Roderick’s mind he was burdened by his twin sister just as it seemed Poe was burdened by his grandfather.
Throughout the story the narrator is emotionally connected to Roderick. The essence of the house makes the narrator feel the things that Roderick is feeling. Once the narrator stepped inside the house his entire essence changed. He became uneasy about being in the house but being the good person that he was he wanted to be there for his friend in his time of need. After the burial of Lady Madeline Roderick begins to act even stranger to the narrator but neither one of them mention the funeral held. Roderick’s guilt finally builds up to the point that he cannot hide the fact that they have buried his sister alive from the narrator. This alone gives the narrator a sense of Roderick’s emotional state. The narrator now beings to feel bad for not mentioning when he thought he was hearing sounds from where they had buried the twin sister and to find out that she was intentionally buried alive is mind blowing to him. The narrator does get some closure once the event of Lady Madeline getting her revenge on her brother and the fall of the house. As the last line of the story states the narrator sees the darkness he felt while at the House of Usher get closed in with the fragments of what remained from the house.
In the literary movement of Romanticism the imagery played a very important factor, however; in Dark Romanticism the imagery played an even bigger factor. The way Poe describes the opening scenery takes the reader to a dark and dim place. Poe says “… when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens,” is a very insightful line. When most people think of the heavens they do not think of tyrant clouds but more of a happy place. Then take how Poe describes the House of Usher and the atmosphere around the house. “I know not how it was – but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit” (Poe). Just by looking at the house the narrator begins to feel the way the house looks.
Poe continues to go into detail with the imagery. This house seems to be something of only a horror movie. He goes into details about the foliage around the house as well as how bleak the house looks, “... upon the bleak walls—upon the vacant eye-like windows …” (Poe). The narrator makes you feel as if you are standing next to him looking at...