Emily Dickinson And Edgar Allen Poe Essay

Emily Dickinson And Edgar Allen Poe Essay

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American authors thrived in the 19th century more than any other time in history. Two central figures of this American Renaissance were Emily Dickinson and Edgar Allen Poe. These two authors primarily wrote dark fiction about the subjects of death, love, and nature. Not only is the general subject matter between Dickinson and Poe similar, but there are also parallels between their speakers. Many of their works contain a first-person narrator who displays drastic psychological states and is aware of an overwhelming presence of death. This is most notable in Dickinson’s “I Felt a Funeral” when her speaker implies with the internal funeral that she is becoming mad and how in “Because I could not stop for Death” she shows mortality as imminent; likewise, Poe’s narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” shows madness and a strong presence of death with the murder and clock. Though these two authors were familiar with each other 's work and draw some parallels in their writing, they have many differences in their primary subject matter that demonstrate they had little influence on one another. Specifically, when looking at how Dickinson portrays death in “Because I could not stop for Death,” it is clear her view of mortality is much more hopeful than Poe’s because she believes in an afterlife. Dissimilarly, in “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “Annabel Lee” Poe illustrates death as undesirable and something to be feared. In addition, these authors have different views on the natural world. Dickinson’s poem “Nature is what we see” depicts the outdoors as magnificent and greater than humans, whereas Poe shows the natural world in a more Anti-Transcendentalist way in “The Raven” with his portrayal of the environment and his symbols connecting nature to dea...


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...uld not stop for Death,” Dickinson characterizes mortality as a guide to the afterlife, while Poe portrays death as intimidating in “The Tell-Tale Heart” and like a thief in “Annabel Lee.” In addition to this, Poe’s illustration of nature in “The Raven” is also darker than Dickinson’s view in “Nature is what we see.” Dickinson believes nature is godlike and shows more of a Romantic view of nature than Poe, who uses symbols of birds to connect the outdoors with mortality. When considering these works, Poe is a more dark, Anti-Transcendentalist writer compared to Dickinson. Further, he writes short stories and poems that horrify the reader while Dickinson writes dynamic, unorthodox poetry that is difficult to compare to other writers. The eccentric minds of these authors is ultimately expressed in their provocative literature that continues to influence writers today.

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