Similarities Between Transcendentalism And Dark Romanticism

Decent Essays
In the 19th century, two significant different genres in American literature emerged: Transcendentalism and Dark Romanticism/Anti-transcendentalism. Towards the middle of the 19th century, the Transcendentalism movement became significant in literature. Thus, as a reaction to the widespread movement, Dark Romanticism was founded. Transcendentalism was based on logical thinking and human’s consciousness, whereas, Dark Romanticism was different in many aspects.
Transcendentalism emphasized the power of one’s intuition and had a positive and educational tone, while Dark Romanticism had a more pessimistic and dark tone. In addition, Transcendentalism states that individuals’ intuition is crucial to understand life and attain happiness. However, Dark Romantic characters that follow their intuition and act illogically usually come to a gloomy end and fail to achieve success.
Poe criticizes the transcendentalist views strongly in the short story The Fall of the House of Usher. Poe
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Rather than the positive upward approach of life and rebirth, Poe shows characters like Roderick and Madeline Usher move on the road to a downward direction towards decay and death, he also presents the same downward pessimistic approach in the description of the house.
The opening of the story depicts and sets the gloomy atmosphere of the short story “During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone” (Poe 109). That is, rather than having the transcendentalist ideas that build to an optimistic ending, The Fall of the House of Usher presents a lifeless plot that comes to be gloomier as the story develops. For instance, the description of the house and its residents are presented as a sarcastic criticism of that
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