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Edgar Allan Poe
  Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe And More Literature - Essay Samples And Term Paper For Students
This paper discusses the works of Edgar Allan Poe, explaining how he dealt with the transcendental movement in his books.
Today, Edgar Allan Poe is often seen simply as a writer of terrifying stories. He has become, as it were, the ultimate Halloween author, as exemplified by the Simpson's adaptation of Poe's poem "The Raven" for their yearly Halloween special. Poe, however, is more than just an author who wrote scary stories designed to frighten us. Poe's stories are reflective of the larger intellectual currents present at the time Poe was writing, which was the first half of the nineteenth century. One of the most important and influential philosophical movements of this time was transcendentalism. Transcendentalism flourished at the time Poe was writing many of his most famous stories. It is no surprise, therefore, that Poe should have literarily dealt with the transcendental movement in his works. One work in which Poe does this is the famous sshort story, "The Fall of the House of Usher." In "The Fall of the House of Usher," Edgar Allan Poe offers a critique of transcendentalism, chiefly through the character of Roderick. Before discussing how Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" is a critique of transcendentalism, I must first explain what I understand by the term "transcendentalism." When I write of "transcendentalism," I understand it to be a philosophical doctrine whose core beliefs are, as the Encyclopedia Brittanica defines them, "the essential unity of all creation, the innate goodness of man, and the supremacy of insight over logic and experience for the revelation of the deepest truths." Poe critiques all three aspects of transcendentalism in "The Fall of the House of Usher." One of the principle beliefs of transcendentalists is in the fundamental oneness of everything. The universe is, at its most basic level, united. Poe symbolically attacks this view in "The Fall of the House of Usher." The location of the house of Usher is of prime importance here. The narrator repeatedly emphasizes that the house of Usher is...   MORE >>
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