Darkness in Poe, Hawthorne, Melville and Dickinson

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, Light, The Raven Pages: 4 (1388 words) Published: June 24, 2013
Darkness in Poe, Hawthorne, Melville and Dickinson

E.A. Poe, Hawthorne, Melville and E. Dickinson’s works contain similar elements and images which can be related to the theme of darkness. These authors used these motives as their main subject throughout their works. Some of them led very gloomy and dark life so they used those experiences to utter their feelings by putting them on the paper. These poems and works can come across as kind of morbid at first sight so they will be thoroughly explained in the further text.

E. A. Poe was labelled as immoral, crazy and depressive by his contemporaries partly because of his most famous poem “The Raven”. Many of them considered Poe’s behaviour insane when actually he was just a version of Romantic period moody hero like Byron, Keats and Shelly, yet today those “insane” people are called artists. His works were marked as spooky, spine-tingling and most importantly dark. Furthermore, a solid comparison can be made between 19th century horror writer Poe and 21th century horror writer Stephen King. Although centuries have passed the motif of darkness stays present.

The Raven is a poem filled with dark, lonely and melancholic symbols. One of them to begin with is Gothic setting of the poem. “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, / Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore”. “Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;/ And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.” It’s almost like today’s readers can see in films. One can picture a small cabin deep in the woods on a cold December night with nothing but one candle and a man like shadow which can be seen through the window. Nevertheless, it is a perfect prelude to a horror movie or in this case to a horror poem. In addition to dark setting there is a dark protagonist, a young man suffering a great amount of pain, more precisely loss of a loved woman. Any human...
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