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Tuesday, November 27 th. Topic: Romantic & Gothic Lit Level: Applying and Synthesizing . Agenda: Romantic & Gothic Lit Edgar Allen Poe Quick Write! Allegory. A/A: C-Notes Quick Write . Romanticism

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Tuesday, November 27th

Topic: Romantic & Gothic Lit

Level: Applying and Synthesizing

  • Agenda:
  • Romantic & Gothic Lit
  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • Quick Write!
  • Allegory
  • A/A:
  • C-Notes
  • Quick Write


A period in American literature that began in 1800 (or so) and lasted until 1860. Emphasized the value of the common individual, common language, emotion, hope, and a closeness to nature. Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville represent the movement.

Gothic Tradition

An offshoot of Romanticism—a special kind of romanticism: the flip side. Hope is turned to EXPECTATIONS OF EVIL. Nature turns into the dark side of the SUPERNATURAL.


Strange Beauty


1809 1849

Edgar Allen Poe

Age 3: Mother (a famous actress) died of TB. Fostered by the Allans, a wealthy couple.
  • Age 16: Begins writing poetry.
  • Age 17: Goes to U of Virginia. Drops out.
  • Age 18: Publishes first book of poetry.
  • Age 20: Foster mom dies of TB.
  • Age 21: Goes to West Point. Gets expelled—deliberately.
  • Age 22: Publishes second book of poetry.
  • Age 27: Marries Virginia Clemm (his 14 year old cousin).
  • Age 32: Publishes the first-ever detective story.
  • Age 36: Publishes “The Raven.” Becomes famous.
  • Age 38: Virginia dies of TB.
  • Age 40: Dies in the streets of Baltimore.
poe hawthorne melville
Poe – Hawthorne - Melville
  • “Brooding” romantic – anti-transcendentalist:
  • Did not believe in the innate goodness of people
      • Explored the human capacity for eviiiil
      • Explored characters’ motivation
      • Included elements of fantasy and the supernatural
  • We do lots of things to keep ourselves safe from disease, injury, accidents, bad guys (and girls), but . . . is safety an illusion?
  • Can we really be safe in this world? Why or why not?
  • What kinds of situations make you feel most safe?
  • What kinds of situations make you feel vulnerable . . . unsafe? Describe and explain.
  • a work of art with two levels of meaning
  • setting, characters, and objects can stand for ideas outside the work
  • often meant to teachlessons—simple characters, unnamed settings
  • early allegory: ideas personified as characters (Good, Evil, Honesty)
  • One type of allegory is the fable. Fables
    • are brief stories that teach a practical lesson about life
    • are set in fantasy worlds where animals speak and think
    • often have animal characters that symbolize vices and virtues
  • Another kind of allegory is the parable. Parables
    • are brief stories that teach a lesson about moral behavior or ethics
    • are set in the ordinary, everyday world
    • feature humans as characters
the allegory of the school
The Allegory of the School

Sad Student writes a story about school, but he doesn’t call it school. He calls it “prison.”