The Gothic Movement

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The Greatness of the Dark Side
by Matthew Carnley

The Romantic Movement was a literary movement that was a revolt against the aristocratic society. The Gothic element was so popular during the romanticism movement because instead of solely focusing on the visual part of life and happiness, it focused on the inside of a person, what made them happy, sad, their emotions and even their sin; what you could claim as the mystified part of life. Essentially, people can be different than how they appear. Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Washington Irving were the pioneers of the Gothic movement. They focused on the darker realities of life; Gothic poetry was heavily criticized for their belief of the inherent evil nature of man. Despite this opposition, poets such as Poe became rather popular for some of their works such as Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” In this poem he speaks of depression many can relate to; he states in the end, “And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor shall be lifted – nevermore!” (line 107). The inspiration for this genre of writing is commonly accredited to the authors’ upbringing and pessimistic outlook on life. Whether financial sorrows or failed relationships resulting in a lover’s broken heart, the poets of dark romanticism were driven by their life experiences and emotions, thus setting the tone for the Gothic era. The early forms of the Gothic movement are known as the dark romantics and focus on the darkness and hopelessness of humanity.

Washington Irving was simply a great writer. He grew up near the town of Sleepy Hollow, which had many quaint Dutch customs and no shortage of ghost stories. Such a setting inspired his writing of “The legend of Sleepy Hollow.” His writings inspired many other poets and writers including Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe.

Edgar Allan Poe emphasized originality and most certainly displayed a vast imagination. He was often criticized for...
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