poe and his gothic theme, launguae use in poems

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how did poe sue his gothic tones and languega in his writing, how did it effect the story, and why?

-- Anonymous, November 16, 2003


Poe avoided the common hyperinflation of the current Gothic genre, heavy use of morose and exagerrated similes and supernatural devices. His characters are also more to the side of the Mary Shelley type, rationalists trying to solve mysteries, interested in the scientific and philosphical meaning of the dark experience.

Vagueness, darkness, claustrophobic oppression with gradual clues and revelations as to what exactly is going on. A sense or feeling is created of a nightmare or experience beyond the ordinary that becomes MORE important than the solution or the meaning. The Gothic did help Poe communicate this unutterable sense of dark inspiration so long as he forced the reader into the confines of the Romantic thinker whose thrill at the experience is passed along. Shock of discovery and climax in some savage outcome, sometimes doubled endings are more than the "hook" or the twist, but merely a crescendo of the mood and mindset prepared for at the beginning.

Minus most of the supernatural and medieval trappings, Poe uses dark, confined and ominous settings that test the mettle of a sensitive, intuitive and excitable hero often tending to the Byronic Hero mold. The mysteries move the mind to perceive beyond the ordinary, to scare oneself to the core of tragedies pursued self- destructively. Poe's own satire "How to Write a Blackwood Article" makes fun of the genre and also of his own participation. His last story, "Hop Frog" seems to drive a stake through its heart.

-- Anonymous, November 17, 2003

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