Characteristics Of Dark Romanticism

Better Essays
Literature is powerful. Every day people around the world are directly and indirectly influenced by books written throughout the centuries of human existence. Some people turn to literature for inspiration, others to understand a concept from school, and some for mere pleasure and enjoyment. Whatever the reason, literature impacts people and leaves an impression on their lives; its presence is seen everywhere and its legacy is present throughout the ages. Through the years, different literary movements –like Romanticism, Realism, and Transcendentalism– sprouted with the goal of making their own lasting mark in literature. Romanticism, originally started in Europe, found its way to New America in the early eighteen-hundreds and blossomed into…show more content…
In the short story, Poe, similarly to Hawthorne in The House of the Seven Gables, sets the story in a dark house where no light or happiness seems to exist. Poe describes the house “as the melancholy House of Usher” that causes a “sense of insufferable gloom to pervade [the narrator’s] spirit” (Poe 264). This is crucial because it shows Poe incorporate the Dark Romantic quality of a gloomy, supernatural-like atmosphere. The haunting exterior creates a sense of dread which builds suspicion and suspense throughout the story. Poe describes the house as having “minute fungi overspread the whole exterior, hanging in a fine tangled web from the eaves… and a crumbling condition of the individual stones…woodwork which has rotted for years” (Poe 265). In this quote, Poe describes the decaying state of the house and seems to compare it to the person inside the house, Rodrick Usher. The windows resemble his eyes and the fungi is his hair. This is important because Poe expresses the Dark Romantic qualities of suffering in the human spirit. Just like the outside of the house is falling apart, so is Rodrick’s mental stability and sanity; Rodrick suffers inside the house and his mind is deteriorating and decaying. Keith Neilson writes how “The Fall of the House of Usher” is a Dark Romantic work because it contains a “haunted atmosphere, darkness, and evilness” (Neilson). Poe writings and works are heavily layered with Dark Romantic ideas to visually display the supernatural and mystical scenes that he presents to the readers. Edgar Allan Poe writes of evilness and suffering to expose the readers to the faults of humanity and the darkness that exists in the world. His powerful and dark descriptions not only leave a lasting mark on readers’ emotions but an impression on the literary world as