Comparing Edgar Allan Poe and Henry David Thoreau

1279 WordsMar 2, 20126 Pages
Edgar Allan Poe and Henry David Thoreau were two very different authors, one was a mastermind of Gothic literature, while the other was a transcendentalist. One can understand Poe’s knack for stories like The Fall of the House of Usher because of his unprivileged childhood. His father deserted his family, and his mother died while Poe was very young (Wiggins 288). He also lived through constant poverty and suffered from depression, his only refuge being his wife, Virginia, who died when she was only 24 (Wiggins 289). The work that will be used in this essay is The Fall of the House of Usher, which really touches upon Poe’s style of writing. It’s use of an extremely dark setting and the way it’s characters are portrayed really help…show more content…
When Thoreau says “I am the monarch of all I survey, my right there is none to dispute (Poe 380),” his use of the word monarch really is what makes the sentence. The word monarch gives a sensation of superiority and hopefulness to the reader. An upbeat connotation like this isn’t seen in The Fall of the House of Usher. In the two works, connotation is very different, one being more unsettling, while the other being more enlightening. Tone is an especially large factor in differentiating between the two stories. The Fall of the House of Usher has a very dark and repulsive tone, especially near the end of the book, where Madeline Usher, another resident of the house, comes back after being buried alive. “ ‘Will she not be here anon? Is she not hurrying to upbraid me for my haste? Have I not heard her footstep on the stair? Do I not distinguish that heavy and horrible beating of her heart? Madman!" Here he sprang furiously to his feet, and shrieked out his syllables, as if in the effort he were giving up his soul --’Madman! I tell you that she now stands without the door (Poe 309)!’ ” Poe used trapped female characters like Madeline in his stories to release his sadness about his wife’s death, as some critics say (Wiggins 289). This is no exception, the depiction of Madeline and of Roderick Usher is horrifying. Roderick has gone insane due to the fact the she has come back from the grave to kill him. This conveys a very

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