The American Fiction Writer in Early American History
Nathaniel Hawthorne is one of the prominent 19th century fictions writers who contributed to the evolving of the modern literature in America. Hawthorne was a descendant of English puritans born in Massachusetts America. He went back home to start writing after graduating from Bowdon College in 1825. His first novel was published in 1828, named Fanshawe. He was later to write more books that would shape his own style and genre n the romance fiction, depicting his own beliefs. His style was more of dark romanticism, focusing on cautionary stories with emphasis on the intricate qualities of humanity, which were sinning, guilt, and evil. Hawthorne’s themes were on modern psychology as well as human nature through use of symbolism and allegory. Additionally, he used formal dialogue between the characters, which was exclusive of his time and from modern literature. His dialogues were almost the same with all the characters. More so, Hawthorne used lengthy descriptions of the setting considering printing technology at the time had not evolved enough to make printing of pictures on books (Poe, 256).
Despite using a style considered outdated during his time, Hawthorne brought out modern theme to his work using this style. One of his recurring themes in his work is the theme on human nature, focusing on the dark side of people. He used a depiction of the past, which he used as a historic fiction of illustrating sins of ancestor, vengeance and guilt. He also explored the theme of human wickedness in his book “Young Goodman Brown.” Another of his themes was the portrayal of a sinner in the puritan view. His themes focused on the inner self of human being especially the darker side and use of supernatural themes that occur in most of his novels and short stories (Hutchisson, 104).
Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe is yet another American writer, poet, editor and a literal critic who shaped the modern literature in America. Just as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Allan Poe is considered a writer of the Romantic Movement. Most of his works are considered fictional and gothic. Most of his works take on the dark romanticism genre, which was a reaction to transcendentalism. The gothic genre was used to illustrate the dark romanticism. Poe goes deeper into the gothic connotation through using themes of death, vengeance, guilt and supernatural stories as used in Nathaniel’s style. Mostly, he develops the characters to be the developers of the gothic situation than victims of the same. Thus, he deals more with the inner self-psychology where people create their own imagination that affects them instead. Poe uses very intricate vocabulary is meant to make the readers seek further to understand the details of the story and setting as he intends them to understand. For instance, the word phantasmagoric is used to explain bizarre images as one would dream them or imagine them. Thus, the word is used to describe the gothic genre of his work. This helps in making readers dig deep into the meaning of his work rather than just finding out the superficial meaning of the story (Hutchisson, 107).
Allan was more focused on themes of death, which included physical aspects of t to make the stories more gothic. He dealt with issues of premature burial, decomposition, and mourning. However, his most prominent theme is death, which he often pairs with revenge. For instance, in the “The Cask of Amontillado,” death is the main theme, facilitated by revenge. This is also evident in “The Mask of the Red Death.” Poe also develops the theme of the self, where most of his work indicates the struggles of the self. Death occurs in most of his work, either supported by other themes such as mourning and the effects of death physically.
Hutchisson, J M. “The Permanence of Poe Peter Ackroyd, Poe: a Life Cut Short; Susan Amper, Bloom’s How to Write About Edgar Allan Poe; Michael Connelly, Ed., in the Shadow of the Master: Classic Tales by Edgar Allan Poe and Essays by Jeffery Deaver, Nelson Demille, Tess Gerritsen, Sue Grafton, Stephen King, Laura Lippman, Lisa Scottoline, and Thirteen Others; Benjamin F. Fisher, the Cambridge Introduction to Edgar Allan Poe; Kevin J. Hayes, Edgar Allan Poe.” Poe Studies. 43 (2010): 104-115. Print.
Poe, Edgar A. “Tale-writing–nathaniel Hawthorne.” Godey’s Lady’s Book. 35 (1847): 252-256. Print.
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