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Anti-Transcendentalist Themes in Poe's The Fall of the Home of Usher Essay

Project id 1016114
Subject area Other
Document type Essay
Words 1028
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Towards the middle of the nineteenth century, the Transcendentalism movement became a brute force in literature. Originating in the New England area of America, transcendentalism emphasized the religious over the corporeal, and also the power of human instinct over organized doctrine as a way of attaining true spirituality. However, one of the most notable writers of the period of time, Edgar Allan Poe, made no secret of his disdain for those tenets of transcendentalism. He mocked transcendentalist ideals by clearly expressing anti-transcendentalist topics in one of the most well known works, "The Fall of the home of Usher". Though this work openly exhibits Poe's contempt for transcendentalism as a literary movement, it was still affected by -- and perhaps even based on -- transcendentalist beliefs. Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" is Regarded as a Dark Romantic text. Dark Romanticism began in the mid-nineteenth century as a negative reaction to the popular Transcendental Movement, a rising force in literary circles. Authors like Poe discovered transcendentalism to be a laughable concept which was absurdly optimistic and unrealistic. The anti-transcendentalists made it a point to produce a mockery of transcendental beliefs within their work; therefore, the Dark Romantic genre began. (Quinn) When Edgar Allan Poe wrote his short story "The Fall of the home of Usher", he was mocking traditional transcendental beliefs. Poe displays his scorn for transcendentalism in many unique ways throughout this piece. Rather than the transcending happenings that build into a happy ending that is feature of transcendentalism, this work features a dreary setting with a plot which becomes increasingly menacing as the story develops...

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