Theme Of Horror In Literature

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When the genre of horror was first introduced, it used the mind against itself instead of gory, jump scares that only lasted for a little while. The use of death and dying is a common idea that horror writers use to achieve the thrills they want their readers to feel. Edgar Allan Poe and J.S. LeFanu are two authors who have mastered the art of using the mind against itself in their horror stories. Writing in the same era, they both use the same techniques but with differing views on how the genders should be used and who should die to make the story or poem fit them as a person. Poe, throughout his works, has a common theme of portraying women as the inferior sex. In many of his short stories and poems, the women are either weak, dead, or dying and most certainly not narrating. One of the most illustrative examples of this is in one of Poe’s most famous pieces, “The Fall of the House of Usher.” In this short story, the female whom is seen throughout, Madeline Usher, is sick and weakly which leads to her perceived death while the two main male characters, Roderick Usher and the unnamed narrator, …show more content…
For the typical female, she is already dead or dies during the short story or poem. For example, in “Ulalume”, the male narrator is out walking and somehow stumbles upon the tomb of his dead lover who he put there a while ago. Like many other pieces, Poe tends to immortalize a women’s beauty by romanticizing her death. For “Ulalume”, the unexplainable pull that brings the narrator to his beloved’s tomb. As for men though, they usually aren’t killed but when they are, it is as a hero or an inescapable event. In “The Masque of the Red Death”, Prince Prospero, “a bold and robust man” (Poe, The Masque of the Red Death 210), dies trying to be a hero, or at least standing up to the Red Death. For Poe, a man’s death is a significant event that only happens in extreme

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