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A Brief Intro to


Poe relocated to Baltimore, and his first collection of poems was published in 1827. ... 1. Love - usually of a mourning man for his deceased beloved. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: A Brief Intro to

A Brief Intro to Gothic
  • Gothic of or relating to a style of fiction
    characterized by the use of desolate or remote
    settings and macabre, mysterious, or violent

  • "Gothic" originally referred to a style of art
    produced in Europe in the latter part of the
    Middle Ages, or medieval period (12th to 16th
    centuries). While the Gothic style is most
    frequently associated with architecture, it can
    also apply to sculpture, panel painting,
    illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, jewelry
    and textiles produced in that period.

  • The "Goths" were a northern Germanic tribe, one
    of many so-called "barbarian" pagan tribes which
    invaded former territories of the Christian Roman
    Empire following the fall of Rome in the 4th
    century A.D. These waves of invaders, who were
    absorbed by Christianity, brought an
    architectural and artistic sensibility which was
    very distinctive from the Classical or
    Greco-Roman style.

  • Whereas the Greco-Roman style was subtle and
    controlled, the Gothic style was extreme,
    seemingly uncontrolled, larger than life,
    intended to invoke a strong emotional response,
    whether awe, pity, compassion, horror or fear. In
    human representation, where the Classical style
    was both naturalistic and idealistic, the Gothic
    style was crude, caricature-like, grotesque and

  • The world of Gothic fiction is characterized by a
    chronic sense of apprehension and the premonition
    of impending but unidentified disaster. The
    Gothic world is the fallen world, the vision of
    fallen man, living in fear and alienation,
    haunted by images of his mythic expulsion, by its
    repercussions, and by an awareness of his
    unavoidable wretchedness....Gothic heroes and
    heroines are on their own, stumbling alone,
    sometimes in foreign countries, through appalling
    complexities of decision and action, obliged to
    find their own solutions or go under
    estrangement from family ties is their normal
    condition....Protagonists are frequently orphans,
    or they are foundlings or adopted, their family
    origins mysterious." (Ann B. Tracy, The Gothic
    Novel 1790-1830 Plot Summaries and Index Motifs).

  • The Gothic novel dominated English literature
    from its conception in 1764 with the publication
    of The Castle of Ortanto by Horace Walpole has
    been continually criticized by numerous critics
    for its sensationalism, melodramatic qualities,
    and its play on the supernatural.

  • Although the Gothic novel influenced many of the
    emerging genres, the outpouring of Gothic novels
    started to ease by 1815 and with the publication
    of Charles Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer the
    genre began to fade. The Gothic novel had come
    full circle, from rebellion to the Age of Reasons
    order, to its encompassing and incorporation of
    Reason as derived from terror.

Edgar Allan Poe on American Literature
"No man has recorded, no man has dared to record,
the wonders of his inner life."
  • Edgar was born on January 19, 1809 by David Poe,
    and Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe in Boston.
  • Second of three children (a brother and a
  • Abandoned by his father just before his mother
    died when he was two (1811).
  • Adopted by wealthy tobacco merchant named John
    Allan, at the request of his wife (1811).
  • From his eighth to his thirteenth year he
    attended the Manor House school, at
    Stoke-Newington, a suburb of London.
  • In 1826 he gained a creditable record as a
    student at the University of Virginia, although
    it is admitted that he contracted debts and had
    "an ungovernable passion for card-playing." These
    debts may have led to his quarrel with Mr.. Allan
    which eventually compelled him to make his own
    way in the world.
  • Poe relocated to Baltimore, and his first
    collection of poems was published in 1827.
  • His foster mother, Mrs.. Allan died in 1829.
    Mr.. Allan enrolled Edgar in the United States
    Military Academy at West Point, seeing this as an
    honorable way to rid himself of his ward.
  • Poe soon found the cadets life a little too
    disciplined for his liking. He procured his
    release (expelled) in 1831 by purposely
    neglecting his duties.
  • John Allan dies in 1834, Poe was left out of the
    will in favor of illegitimate children.
  • Poe had earned a name as a prominent literary
    critic by 1835.
  • At the age of 26, Poe marries his 13 year old
    cousin, Virginia Clemm (1836).

  • In 1838 he published "The Narrative of Arthur
    Gordon Pym", while in New York City.
  • In 1843 Poe wrote and published "The Tell-Tale
  • He gained national fame in 1845 when The Raven
    was published.
  • Poe then became editor of the Broadway Journal, a
    short-lived weekly, in which he republished most
    of his short stories.
  • Virginia Poe died at the age of 25 (1847).
  • Poes subsequent years were a blur of drunken
    sprees, marriage proposals and suicide attempts.
  • Poe was found unconscious on Baltimore street on
    Oct. 3, 1849. He died on Oct. 7 at Washington
    College Hospital.

  • Major Themes
  • 1. Love - usually of a mourning man for his
    deceased beloved.2. Pride - physical and
    intellectual.3. Beauty - of a young woman either
    dying or dead.4. Death - a source of horror.
  • Poe's Four Types of Short Stories
  • 1. Arabesque - strange use of the supernatural
    symbolic fantasies of the human condition
    (Example - "The Fall of the House of Usher").2.
    Grotesque - heightening of one aspect of a
    character (Example - "The Man Who Was Used
    Up").3. Ratiocinative - detective fiction
    (Example "The Purloined Letter").4. Descriptive
    (Example - "The Landscape Garden").

Poe, Horror and the Supernatural
  • Undisputedly the models for his horror tales, as
    both parody and imitation , come primarily from
    Blackwood's Magazine. Traditional horror tales
    before Poe included such memorable classics as
    Ann Radcliffe's Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), Mary
    Shelly's Frankenstein (1818), Horace Walpole's
    The Castle of Otranto (1764), and Varney the
    Vampyre The Feast of Blood (1845-1847). Poe
    satisfies the same pleasures of mystery and
    thrills without sacrificing the reader's
    intellect. With each story, Poe's elegant prose,
    carefully wrought plots and meticulous detail
    elevated the genre to new heights.
  • Poes Take on horror and mysticism
  • "Metzengerstein" (1832) "Berenice" (1835)
    "Morella" (1835) "The Cask of Amontillado"
    "The Masque of the Red Death" "The Black Cat"
    "The Tell-Tale Heart" (1843) "The Pit and the
    Pendulum" (1842) "The Premature Burial (1844)
    "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1839)

Poe, Father of Detective Fiction
  • Poe is the unchallenged creator of the modern
    detective story. Most of Poe's mystery stories
    were written during a relatively short period,
    1841 - 1844. "The Murders in the Rue Morgue"
    (1841) is the most important of Poe's mystery
    works. It is the first, and the one that set the
    form of not only Poe's other stories, but of all
    subsequent mystery fiction to come.
  • Virtually all of the conventions we recognize
    today originated in his writings. Arthur Conan
    Doyle himself acknowledged his debt to Poe.
  • The Dupin Trilogy
  • "Murders in the Rue Morgue"
  • "Mystery of Marie Roget"
  • "The Purloined Letter"
  • Other Tales of Ratiocination
  • "Thou Art the Man"
  • "The Gold-Bug"
  • "The Man of the Crowd"

The Romantic
  • Poes romanticism was filled with darkness and
    misery, perhaps a portrayal of his own harsh and
    troubled life. In his chaotic worlds Poe created
    an escape from the unromantic miseries of life.
    The worlds Poe wrote of reflected that misery,
    but turned it into something desirable and grand.
  • His 1839 poem, "Lenore", demonstrates this, as
    he romanticizes a woman in her death. Rhyme and
    diction serve to formalize the tone into that of
    a romantic elegy, while the prose level meaning
    of the poem romanticizes death.

  • Edgar Allan Poe was an innovative genius, a true
    artist who forever changed American literature.
    In his short forty years on this earth he
    invented whole new categories of writing style,
    set the standards for modern criticism, shaped
    new standards for the gothic style, dared to open
    the doors to the darker side of the mind, and
    most importantly he challenged the readers
    intellect. He wrote to stimulate emotion, to
    invoke a reaction in his readers mind, heart,
    and soul. The precision and methodologies he
    developed for writing fiction, short stories, and
    poetry has certainly secured him a spot in the
    literary hall of fame.
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