Comparing Edgar Allan Poe and Henry David Thoreau Essay example

1273 Words Feb 16th, 2012 6 Pages
Edgar Allan Poe and Henry David Thoreau were two very different authors, one was a mastermind of Gothic literature, while the other was a transcendentalist. One can understand Poe’s knack for stories like The Fall of the House of Usher because of his unprivileged childhood. His father deserted his family, and his mother died while Poe was very young (Wiggins 288). He also lived through constant poverty and suffered from depression, his only refuge being his wife, Virginia, who died when she was only 24 (Wiggins 289). The work that will be used in this essay is The Fall of the House of Usher, which really touches upon Poe’s style of writing. It’s use of an extremely dark setting and the way it’s characters are portrayed really help …show more content…
The house isn’t just a conventional house anymore, but more of a prison. Words like eyelike, decayed, depression, and hideous help create the house’s living nature for the rest of the story. In Walden, however, one can see a different form of imagery, one that isn’t meant to disturb the reader, but to inspire them and teach them. One of the lessons is especially how “still we live meanly, like ants, though the fable tells that we were long ago changed into men; like pygmies we fight with cranes (Thoreau 383).” Words like ants and pygmies make the author’s idea more understandable, but in a less dark way. The reader doesn’t see a dark image, but more of a brighter image of this idea. Imagery helps communicate the two author’s way of getting one to feel what they want to say a little more, and it works in this case, just very differently. The connotation in both The Fall of the House of Usher and Walden evoke different feelings and sensations in the reader’s mind. Words used in Poe’s story bring discomforting and unwelcoming sensations to mind. As the main character enters the house, he noticed that “dark draperies hung upon the walls. The general furniture was profuse, comfortless, antique, and tattered (Poe 297).” The reader would perceive this scene as old and not very well maintained. Profuse, comfortless, antique, and tattered all bring to mind

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