Essay about The Philosophy Of Composition By Poe

956 Words Apr 7th, 2015 4 Pages
Toward the end of his life, Poe authored a work called “The Philosophy of Composition” in which he gives readers a behind the scene look into the creative process of poetry and prose. This piece is especially beneficial because it adds another tool that can be used in the analysis of other author’s work. It is commonly known that Poe had a very high opinion of Hawthorne’s work. “The Philosophy of Composition” gives valuable insight as to why Poe thought so highly of him. Using Poe’s work to analyze “The Birth-mark,” it becomes clear that Poe and Hawthorne were of the same mind on the subject of good writing. Their similarities are especially evident when comparing the length, tone, setting, and theme of their works. In “The Philosophy of Composition,” Poe claims that a work must be short enough to be read in one session, but not so short that it fails to leave a lasting impact (721). This gives the author the freedom to create a work that will enthrall the reader for a short while. “The Birth-mark” can easily be read at one time, and even an audio recording only takes about forty five minutes. With this work, the short length does not take away from the story’s impact. Details are well developed and the ending leaves the reader with a sense of loss. Poe theorizes that the longer a work is, the more intense it needs to be to compensate (722). So, if “The Birth-mark” had been any longer, it likely would have lost some of its effect. Poe had a narrow view of which tones make…

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