”The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe
as the mock of Transcendentalism.
The 19th century was a significant time for the American literature. At that time two completely different genres had been founded – Transcendentalism and Dark Romanticism. While transcendentalism was based on human’s consciousness and logical thinking, Dark Romanticism was disparate. For instance Dark Romantic poets used to write about pessimistic people who live in a dark, unfriendly surroundings, while Transcendental works were optimistic and had didactic overtone. Ralph W. Emerson, as well as Henry D. Thoreau and other representatives of Transcendentalism, told us that intuition is the key to understanding the world. In contradiction to the Dark Romantic characters who act irrationally and usually fail to achieve success. These features were mostly noticeable in Edgar Allan Poe’s works. He hated Transcendentalism but it had a strong influence on his creations. Some of Poe’s poems and novels had some elements which were deriding Transcendental ideas. In this essay I will try to shed some light on such elements in E.A. Poe’s short story The Fall of the House of Usher and I will prove that it is one of the greatest mocks of Transcendentalism. Roderick Usher, the main character of Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher, shared a special spiritual bond with his twin sister – Madeline. We may say that he was “the body” while she was “the brain”. Roderick didn’t have problems with his physical fitness but he suffered from the mental disorder. Unlike Madeline who mentally was perfectly healthy but her physical condition was bad. They complete each other so one of them would not manage to live without the other. How does it relate to the one of the main ideas of Transcendentalism which says that “one has to be individual” ? Roderick could not be an individual because he was entirely dependent on his sister. He could not live without her. His illness and mental...
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