The Depressive Styles Of Poe
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The Depressive Styles of Poe
Throughout all literature, the work of any author always reflects that authors personal mood and character. Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer whose short stories and poems genuinely reflected his depressive, negative, and sometimes desolate moods. These moods are clear in “The Raven,” “The Tell Tale Heart,” and “The Cask Of Amontillado.”
One poem by Poe, “The Raven,” is about a sad and lonely man who is haunted by a raven that flies into his house. This poem best expresses Poes sense of gloom and despair because the literary elements used throughout the poem are a constant reference to these feelings. One example from “The Raven” that portrays a reflection of Poes mood of gloom and despair is the poems setting.
The poem takes place in an eerie house during a violent storm. This setting is clear as Poe writes, “On this home by horror haunted,” and “..tempest tossed thee here ashore.” The time and place of the poem deliver a negative and desperate feeling to the reader.
Poes use of a dark, depressing setting for “The Raven” illustrates his depressed and negative mood by replying to all his questions with the same response. A second example that illustrates the poem as an expression of Poes mood is the raven itself. Poe could have chosen any bird for his poem. However, Poe wanted the reader to experience the desertion and despondency that he experienced. Therefore he wrote about a raven, a bird commonly associated with death and despair because of its dark color and evil sense.
Finally, Poes use of assonance throughout the work also contributed to the poems illustration of despair and depression. Assonance is the repetition of vowel sound throughout ones writing. For instance, at the end of each line it says, “Quoth the raven, Nevermore,” and “This is it and nothing more,” repeatedly using the word “more.” According to Richard Harrington “The repetition of these sounds emphasize the words that contribute to the mood of the poem. Aside from the simple depressing tone of drawing out the word “more” when speaking, the repetition of “never” increases the negative effect.”
A second work of Poe that displays his depression is “The Tell Tale Heart.” In this short story, the main character, who also narrates, is driven to madness by an old man who lives with him. The odd fact is that the source of the narrators madness has nothing to do with the old man personally, how he acts, or even his attitude towards the narrator. The source of the narrators madness is one of the old mans eyes. According to Brett Zimmerman “The narrators description of the eye is that it resembled a vultures eye, pale blue with and covered with a film. When the narrator looks at it, it causes his blood to run cold. The narrator conveys the feeling of being trapped in this situation, which matches the themes of loneliness