The Philosophy Of Composition Essay

The Philosophy Of Composition Essay

Length: 1930 words (5.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Philosophy of Composition is an 1846 essay written by E.A. Poe himself which elucidates a theory of how good writers write when they write well. By the end of the paper, Poe concludes that in order to achieve a strong piece of writing, you must achieve what he calls “unity of effect.” Poe analyzes this theory based on his famous piece The Raven. In general, unity of effect is when an author can completely submerge their reader into the work of fiction. This can be achieved through the means of tone, diction, the setting and even the amount and the way the author allows the reader to interact with the characters. One of the elements that Poe found crucial in achieving a certain mood was the ability to force the reader to be engulfed by the setting. Nathaniel Hawthorne even later argued that unity of effect cannot be achieved in longer works, as the reader will eventually have to return to their ordinary lives, leaving the world behind, only to return later, overall, interrupting the unity of effect. Therefore, much of the control of the reader is lost.
Poe argues that in pursuit of writing a strong work of fiction, the writer must determine the ending, the conclusion, and write nothing that does not take their reader to that point. Denouement as he called it, is the resolution of the plot, which is the element which should determine all else that happens within. Through this, short and concise essay, it will be argued and explored that Poe successfully achieves unity of effect in his horrifying short story The Masque of the Red Death. This is done, to rebut the many criticism Poe has revived on his essay The Philosophy of Composition based on that fact that he is biased in saying that his story achieves unity of effect himse...


... middle of paper ...


...he words he chooses. The way he describes the Red Death as “scarlet stains” which appeared upon the face of the victim to the “scarlet” window pane which illuminated the black of the seven coloured room. Poe’s explicit word choice adds to not only the success of his composition but also adds to the feeling of the piece.
Through even further, and more extensive analysis, the conclusions one can come to on the success of this piece are endless. Was Poe biased when analyzing The Raven in Philosophy of Composition? Possibly, but any of his works of literature can be analyzed on the bases of unity of effect, and one can see, that Poe is wonderfully successful. Through the characters which the readers interact with, the setting they are placed in, and the words that they read and feel, Poe immerses his reader into his story through the unity of every element put into it.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Philosophy Of Composition Essay

- Poe’s Composition of the Raven Edgar Allen Poe describes in great detail, his poem “The Raven”, in The Philosophy of Composition. Never before had I been able to read a poet describe in his own philosophy of making a poem. Poe goes in deep context and meaning to how he derives the story line to his poem. He explains what significance the raven plays in the poem and the beauty of his intent in the poem. Poe, first thought of an impression or effect he would like to suppress upon the reader....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Better Essays
455 words (1.3 pages)

Edgar Allan Poe 's The Philosophy Of Composition Essay

- Edgar Allan Poe 's, “The Philosophy of Composition” is one of his most interesting works. By establishing tone and unity in his works, he has made transcribable novels and poems in which other authors try to imitate. Philosophy of Composition in the eyes of analysts and Poe was written just to imply that he did everything in “The Raven” correctly and to demonstrate the choices he made. It is very important that the readers understand why he made the choices he made. Poe even elaborates that he could have used a parrot instead of a raven....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, Short story, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Better Essays
1322 words (3.8 pages)

Essay about The Philosophy Of Music And Music

- People hear music every day, and even without realizing it, mentally ask themselves certain questions. Such questions could pertain to how the music is structured, how a certain piece of music connects to your emotions, why you can embrace a certain understanding of what you are listening to, and why music is important to people’s lifestyles. The study of the philosophy of music is being used to answer these questions. After years of research, music philosophy enables us to understand and analyze the many natures of music, as well as how we experience it....   [tags: Music, Tempo, Musical composition, Philosophy]

Better Essays
1098 words (3.1 pages)

Edgar Allan Poe?s ?The Philosophy of Composition? Essay

- Shortly after Edgar Allan Poe had completed his masterpiece, “The Raven” and sold it for $15 in 1845, he composed an essay entitled “The Philosophy of Composition”. In the essay, he claims that writing a poem was a methodical process, much like solving a mathematical problem. Poe emphasized that a poem should be read and enjoyed in one sitting, thus concluding that a poem should be around 100 lines long (The Raven was 108 lines long). Poe also states that his method of writing a poem consists of writing it backwards....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
347 words (1 pages)

Grammar Should be Secondary for Composition Teachers Essay

- I have a knack for creating a series of run-on sentences and calling them an essay. I have a knack for beginning sentences with And or But. I also have a writing degree. I still have not mastered the use of the comma and somehow the Academy granted me that little piece of paper anyway. You, reader, may be wondering my point. My point is this: that despite my ill-formed paragraphs and run-on sentences I have existed and prospered within the formal writing environment. And so, I was elated to read Patrick Hartwell’s essay that contests that teaching grammar has a negligible effect on the development of a student writer (183)....   [tags: informative, philosophy of education]

Better Essays
1274 words (3.6 pages)

What My Philosophy Is Based On Different Philosophies, They Are Progressivism And Existentialism

- In this paper, I will demonstrate what my teaching philosophy is based on two different philosophies; they are progressivism and existentialism. Using these two philosophies, I will focus on the student rather than myself as the teacher. The focus is to create a flexible, responsible, and understandable environment for my students. In order to follow the Olivet’s School of Education slogan, “Professionals Influencing Lives”, I need to uncover my virtues in order to give students the best learning experience when I teach Math, Sunday school, or other subjects....   [tags: Education, Learning, Philosophy, Knowledge]

Better Essays
885 words (2.5 pages)

Emerson's Philosophy Essay

- Emerson's Philosophy Emerson placed an emphasis on three primary aspects of life that illustrate the most crucial elements of humanity; nature, education and action. According to his theology, nature is the chief facet and because of its universal features, it arguably encompasses the remaining two tenets. Nature supports progress and action by providing physical accommodations in the form of material assets while simultaneously feeding the emotional hunger of man with inspirational beauty. His entire philosophy is embedded in the belief that an external presence shapes and influences the spiritual, intellectual, and physical elements of the individual....   [tags: Emerson Philosophy Philosophical Essays]

Better Essays
627 words (1.8 pages)

Life of Steve Reich: The Village Voice Essay

- My composer, Steve Reich, has written and continues to write contemporary, minimalist, vocal, and tape pieces. His pieces these pieces have been influenced not only by what he has encountered, but the music he had composed has influenced many others composer similar to him (Service). In this paper I will give a short biography of Reich that includes the many different places that he studied, what influenced his not so ordinary music styles, and what made him who he is today. I will also talk about his composition styles, which are different from many others, what influenced them, and what types of music her produced....   [tags: music composition, musician]

Better Essays
743 words (2.1 pages)

Philosophy of Science Essay

- Philosophy of Science It is commonly thought today that the theory of evolution originated from Darwin in the nineteenth century. However, the idea that species mutate over time has been around for a long time in one form or another. Therefore, by Darwin's time the idea that species change from one type into another was by no means new, but was rejected by most because the proponents of evolution could not come up with a satisfactory mechanism that would explain this change. The most influential evolutionary theories prior to Darwin were those of Lamarck and Geoffroy St....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
2756 words (7.9 pages)

Educational Philosophy Essay

- Educational Philosophy Writing my educational philosophy has required me to do an extensive amount of personal research that has taken me on some wonderful, inward journeys over the past few months. Voyages through my cognitive and behavioral personas from the beginning of my educational endeavor back in 1992 up until the present day. I have been digging diligently through my archives pulling out old papers I composed regarding my initial views toward education. I have reflected on my days in the writing center at George Mason University as a composition tutor....   [tags: Education Teaching Educating Essays]

Better Essays
1376 words (3.9 pages)