Destructive Transendence: an Intrepretation of Edgar Allan Poe

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Destructive Transendence: an Intrepretation of Edgar Allan Poe

By | December 2012
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Imagine growing up in a world for decades, only to find out that reality has all been a lie. The foundation of any individuals’ existence on the planet Earth has been for no specific purpose and it has become necessary to destroy the very fabric of the physical and spiritual realms in order to return to genuine tranquility. Edgar Allan Poe, a very popular American author, believes in a unique philosophy that advocates these principles mentioned called Destructive Transcendence. Destructive Transcendence is the belief that in order to return to original unity, the physical world and the spiritual world must both be destroyed. Poe used this concept in many of his writings and its evident the influence it had on his stories due to the contextual clues and obvious characteristics illustrated. Poe’s writings occurred during the Romantic Movement and greatly influenced the literary spectrum by developing a new genre of writing (detective fiction) as well as motivating modern day writers such as the famous Arthur Doyle and his Sherlock Holmes series. Edgar Allan Poe’s use of Destructive Transcendence in “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “Ligeia” conveys the idea of the physical world and the spiritual world conflicting on the outskirts of reality to unite as one through the use of insanity, symbolism, imagery, and diction.

To begin with, the use of insanity in Poe’s works is a prominent indication of the disintegrating reality experienced by the characters. Consequently, this characteristic of insanity foreshadows the emergence of original unity by destroying the psychological state of the character as well as his or her physical surroundings. To clarify, in “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Roderick is the individual that experiences insanity in the highest degree throughout the story and the concept of Destructive Transcendence materializes. Edgar Allan Poe created Roderick to be incapable of distinguishing between imagination and reality which illustrates his...
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