Romanticisam and Washington Irving
Romanticisam and Washington Irving
Romantic stories did not always end with a happy ending. In fact, the originals of the modern romantic stories were about the evil of human nature. The work of early American writers like Irving and Poe show the influence of European Romanticism. Irving would stress on nature, the supernatural, and superstitions in his stories. The supernatural, the emphasis of nature, and exotic locations were used in Poe’s works.
Washington Irving would use an emphasis on nature, the supernatural, and superstitions in his stories. His story “The Devil and Tom Walker” pictured nature as mysterious. Tom walked through a swamp that was so thick that when it was noon it would be still be very dark. At times, water logs would look like alligators floating in the water. The supernatural area also played an essential role in the story. The devil, being the supernatural being, seemed to have the ability to trade riches for a person’s soul. Tom, having sold his soul, wanted to outsmart the devil by recruiting the help of another supernatural power, God, by carrying a bible. In the end, the devil took his soul and he learned a lesson he cannot forget. Another of Irving’s works The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, demonstrates the power than superstition can have over people. Ichabod Crane was a very careful man who avoided walking under ladders, crossing black cats, or tipping over the salt shaker. When Ichabod heard the legend of sleepy hollow, he was so frightened even then simplest of noises like cattails beating on a log, scared him. The characteristics of Irving’s works have been clearly expressed, thus proving that his works were in fact romantic.
The supernatural, the emphasis of nature, and exotic locations were used in Edgar Allan Poe’s works. Poe’s story “The Fall of the House of Usher” involved the work of the supernatural. Usher was saddened by the loss of his sister to an illness. Strange things begin to happen as the narrator arrives: the outside is filled a strange, ghastly glow and the house seems to come alive. Near the end of the story is when the strangest supernatural thing occurs. The figure of Usher’s sister flows through the hallway, takes Usher’s life, and destroys the house. The same story has an emphasis of nature in relation to Usher’s family. Over the years, the house had become cluttered with plants and fungi. The plants were like Usher’s family who have kept the house for many generations. The plants also demonstrated the mysteriousness of nature. The house of Usher was full of decay and water that should have caused harm to the house and yet the house was still very sturdy. Another story by Poe “The Cask of Amontillado” takes place in an exotic place in England. The story starts at what appears to be a carnival. Later it the setting switches to the catacombs of Montresor’s palazzo. It is a place unlike any other, with bones scattered about. It was damp and mysterious, the perfect place for revenge. Poe has turned the evilness of human nature into works of Romanticism.
The influence of European Romanticism is shown by the works of Irving, and Poe. An emphasis on nature, the supernatural, and superstitions were all part of Irving’s works. Poe’s works would use the supernatural, the emphasis of nature, and exotic locations. Even the darkest regions of the human mind can be captured, placed into writing and become romantic.
Washington Irving was born April 3, 1783, in New York City. He was the eleventh child of Sarah William Irving. His father was a strict man, a merchant and deacon in the Presbyterian Church. He started school at the age of four, but he never took it seriously. Even when he was older, he did not really care for school. He did not impress any of his teachers as outstanding. It was out of school where his real interests developed. His interests were more