Edgar Allan Poe Research Paper
English 10 Honors 13 February 2012 Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe was a sick man that went through a troubling life full of tragedies. For Poe to deal with this he drank and poured his feelings into his works. Honestly as horrible it is that he had to go through all of that we should be grateful because without his suffering these masterpieces wouldn’t have been fabricated. While intensifying his philosophy for short stories Edgar Allan Poe wrote “The Fall of the House of Usher” reflecting the characteristics of Dark Romantic Movement.
Born on January 19, 1809, Edgar’s childhood was no fairy tale. At age three both his parents died and he was sent to live with a tobacco exporter, John Allan in Richmond, Virginia. There he went to a school academy. 1826 Poe went to University of Virginia but in his last year he left because of depts. Edgar Allan Poe’s work experience started right out of college. Edgar went into the army, when he left he had reached the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major (May). From then on a lot of his jobs had much to do with newspapers.
He wrote short stories, and then through life began being editor of many different magazines and newspapers. Poe was known as a superlative author for poetry and fiction stories. Of course Poe had some thoughts about others work and for some time was a harsh literary critic. Poe had pointed out that a short story was a different sort of fiction; he said that every single detail in the story should contribute. Poe’s work was a guide for other writers in the same genre. Edgar died on October 7th 1849, a few days after being found passed out in an alley (May).
Poe’s short story “The Fall of the House of the Usher” was first published in 1839. The central theme is terror that arises from the complexity and multiplicity of forces that shape human destiny; evil, isolation and failure to adapt are among some of the other themes (May). It all takes place at the old mansion that has been passed down through generations of the Usher family. The mansion surrounded by fungus and a murky lake around the house. The narrator is beckoned to the remote mansion of his boyhood friend, Roderick Usher.
Filled with a sense of dread by the sight of the house itself, the Narrator reunites with his old companion, who is suffering from a strange mental illness and whose sister, Madeline, is near to death due to a mysterious disease. The Narrator provides company to Usher while he paints and plays guitar, spending all his days inside, avoiding the sunlight and obsessing over the sentience of the non-living. When Madeline dies, Usher decides to bury her temporarily in one of his house’s large vaults.
A few days later, however, she emerges from her provisional tomb, killing her brother while the Narrator flees for his life. The House of Usher splits apart and collapses, wiping away the last remnants of the ancient family. Edgar’s inspiration for this story might have come from true events of the Usher House, located on Boston’s Lewis Wharf. As that story goes, a sailor and the young wife of the older owner were caught and entombed in their trysting spot by her husband.
When the Usher House was torn down in 1800, two bodies were found embraced in a cavity in the cellar (Neilson). Poe wrote in the literary movement of Dark Romanticism. The Romantic Movement was intellectual and artistic, but Poe’s work took that and added a gothic twist to it. This was a start to the recognition of disarray and darkness. ”The Fall of the House of Usher” evident characteristics of the Dark Romantics was it was a haunting narrative, in which madness, gothic horror, and a violent death occur (Robinson). Poe was America’s most controversial writer.
His work on “The Fall of the House of the Usher” was reviewed with such a diverse opinion and earned more conflicting analyses then any of his other works. When reviewing Poe’s work you must never forget the sort of person he was- adroit, conscious craftsman and critic who worked out his ideas with mathematical precision, and yet he was essentially a lyric poet (Neilson). Edgar Allan Poe’s philosophy on short stories was shown through “The Fall of the House of Usher”, all of the characteristics coming from the Dark Romantic Period.