Edgar Allan Poe And Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

1267 Words Oct 4th, 2016 6 Pages
The term, Gothic literature, was a movement in the 18th century that focused on ruin, terror, horror, death, and the darkness of human nature. This writing also combines elements of the supernatural and events that can’t be explained in the natural world. Gothic writing originated with British writers using science, religion, and industry combined with the question of the unknown by using the symbolism of a darker world in caves, castles, nightmares, and fear. With the movement to the new world, many writers began to incorporate these ideas into American literature. These Gothic elements influenced writers of fiction in many ways. Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne are best known for using this symbolism. The writers of American Gothic still had many of the ways of the British cultural heritage in them but replaced castles and monasteries with the frontier, slavery, and their own Puritan legacy. The use of the haunted castles was replaced by the use of old haunted houses. G.R. Thompson once said that, “ Fallen man’s inability to fully comprehend the haunting reminders of another, supernatural realm that seemed not to exist”. (Thompson p.5) This relationship of man to the natural world and the unnatural, disturbing nature of human life led Nathaniel Hawthorne to write, “ In the depths of every heart there is a tomb and a dungeon… and sometimes, most often at midnight, these dark receptacles are flung wide open”. (The Literature Network) One of the most prominent…

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