Corruption Of Society In Edgar Allan Poe And Ralph Waldo Emerson

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In Gothic literature, authors believe society is wrong, and to be oneself they must leave society altogether. Despite using different themes and imagery, both Edgar Allan Poe and Ralph Waldo Emerson achieve similar ideas of the corruption of society and how its expectations crush all diversity. Edgar Allan Poe and Ralph Waldo Emerson both believe in the corruption of society and because of its corruption it destroys the individual.
Edgar Allan Poe and Ralph Waldo Emerson use very different themes in their writings, yet illustrate similar ideas of society’s corruption. In the short story “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Edgar Allan Poe uses the themes of Gothic literature to demonstrate the effect of society on the Usher family. The narrator describes himself as Roderick’s “...best, and indeed his only personal friend,...”(Poe, 414). Their “peculiar sensibility of
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The Usher family lives in seclusion from society, the narrator being the only exception, most likely because of the hurt they receive due to their unusualness. Roderick has never known anyone besides those that work in house and his only friend as everyone else in society finds him weird or unsightly. Poe uses this theme of insanity as well as melancholy with Roderick’s loneliness to demonstrate how society frowns upon those with different mindsets. In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s short story, “Nature,” he uses the themes of Transcendentalism to illustrate how society is evil and leaving it greatly improves life. Once he leaves society, Emerson describes how he feels, “I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God” (Emerson, 373). Using the

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