Edgar Allan Poe - Gothic Fiction assignment

Essay by kezza07High School, 10th grade October 2006

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Gothic Fiction Assignment

1. Describe the literary features of the first paragraph of Poe's "The fall of the House of Usher".

The first Paragraph of "The fall of the House of Usher" introduces us to the unique and absolutely superb style of writing of Edgar Allan Poe. The first paragraph describes, rather cinematically, the House of Usher, and forms the impression of quite a forbidding dwelling. The wording that Poe uses establishes the type of vocabulary that is used throughout the story, that of an extremely Gothic nature. Terms such as 'gloom' and 'depression' are used straight away by Poe and are indicators of the type of narrative that awaits. Poe also uses extremely descriptive language in order to get across a clear message to the reader, as well as to portray precisely how the setting is intended to look.

2. Many people regard the Gothic genre as fringe or marginal literature.

What evidence exists to support this view?

There are many varying reasons that may explain the common thought of the Gothic genre being fringe material, although weather or not that concept is correct is debatable. One of the reasons was Poe himself. Considered by many to be the father of Gothic fiction, the fact the Poe's life was surrounded by controversy was pointed out by many critics, asking the question of how a story written by such an eccentric individual could be perceived as high-quality literature. Other reviewers of Poe's work, and other Gothic fiction, stated that these stories had no clear process of revelation, and that the characters included in the tales were nothing other than monsters and 'freaks' without any personality.

3. What connections can be made between Poe's personal life and the genre with which he is most associated? How is...