American Gothic Literature

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Isms The world is revolving. It may seem ridiculous to reiterate this rudimentary fact of science, but it is important in noting that, like the earth, all life upon its surface is in a state of perpetual spin, turning from one phase to another. Human beings are carried through evolution through continuous revolutions of heart, mind, and expression as witnessed in the unending attempts to better oneself, or all selves, through political, religious, and artistic mediums. Furthermore, these mediums often, if not always, correlate, gaining momentum one from another, many times until new order and philosophy are established. Literature, for example, is often inspired by the real events taking place at any given time, momentous or mundane, as a …show more content…
Contemplating life’s struggles and the darker side of the human heart birthed a subgenre of Romanticism commonly known as Gothic. English Gothic often brings to mind the Bronte sisters, while Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne typify American Gothic. Additionally, French writer Victor Hugo seized the opportunity to comment on social class with his Gothic novel, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” By reading the pages of Gothic literature, one examines the effects which the mysterious and the dreadful have on human will and spirit as love is often sour and one’s past is full of the ghosts of …show more content…
This is often a focus of the Gothic Romanticism. In one such work, “Annabel Lee,” by Edgar Allan Poe, death is not enough to separate lovers when the heart does not will it so. In his poem, Poe shows the reader a speaker who is losing his mind to the memory of a love lost to death, romanticizing insanity, which is the antithesis of Enlightenment. The speaker claims conspiracy by the angels for the loss of his love. Additionally, the mention of the “highborn kinsmen” who take Annabel Lee’s body away implies the idea of class conflict so prevalent in Romanticism. As it turns out, the speaker of the poem sleeps each night with the corpse of his love in her tomb, further blurring the line between life and

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