A Narrative of Subjectivity in Central Aesthetic Role in Edgar Allen Poe'S Gothic Stories Bui Hoang Nga (student ID A2106143) Topics in American Renaissance Literature Professor Frank Stevenson November 20th 2013
Widely acclaimed to be the masterpieces of Gothicism and origins of the
detective genre, short stories written by Edgar Allan Poe, published mostly in the
early 19th centuries, had established worldly literary milestones and evidenced the
writer's timeless influences upon not only literature but also other studies on
humanity, specifically psychology. In his writings, Poe managed to achieve "a
unity of effect" in which different aesthetic tools being employed, in a relative
economy of words, contribute toward a key tone over the whole story. One of the
most effective and recurring aspects of Poe's oeuvre is the intensified narrative
subjectivity, which appears to be his distinctive aesthetic trait against other writers
of his time. With an origin from the Romanticism, this stylized subjectivity in
Poe's acted as the central mean to deliver the horror theme of classic Gothic
fiction, provide methods for contemporary psychological studies, and open up
future case studies for other scholar fields such as philosophy and psychoanalysis.
In the light of such interpretation, this essay attempts to examine the role of the
subjective narration in two of Poe's short stories: The Tale-tell Heart and The Fall
of the House of Usher.
Born and bred in the age of Enlightenment, Poe, like many other writers of
his time, tempts to project reality through a manipulative lens of Romanticism.
However, unlike Emerson and his peers' concentration in optimism, Poe, in a
much more extreme manner, surpasses the delighted stage of individualism and
enters himself into a much more shadowy area, the realm of desperation and
ultimate obsession and madness. Both The Tell-tale Heart and The Fall of...