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PPHS English 332
American Modernism Project
American Romanticism Project
Aspects of American Romanticism
List of Romanticism Works
A Dream Within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe
A Rainy Day by Nathaniel Hawthorne
A Walk at Sunset by William Cullen Bryant
Alone by Edgar Allan Poe
Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe
Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville
Dream-Land by Edgar Allan Poe
Eldorado by Edgar Allan Poe
Eleonora by Edgar Allan Poe
Forms of Heroes by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Hop-Frog by Edgar Allan Poe
Ligeia by Edgar Allan Poe
Little Annie's Ramble by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Mr. Higginbotham's Catastrophe by Nathaniel Hawthorne
My Love by James Russell Lowell
My Low and Humble Home by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Paradise of Bachelors and the Tarturus of Maid by Herman Melville
Silence by Edgar Allan Poe
Spirits of the Dead by Edgar Allan Poe
The Ambitious Guest by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Balloon Hoax by Edgar Allan Poe
The Bells by Edgar Allan Poe
The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe
The Bridal Ballad by Edgar Allan Poe
The Canterbury Pilgrims by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe
The City in the Sea by Edgar Allan Poe
The Coliseum by Edgar Allan Poe
The Darkened Mind by James Russell Lowell
The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar by Edgar Allan Poe
The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
The Gold Bug by Edgar Allan Poe
The Happiest Day by Edgar Allan Poe
The Haunted Palace by Edgar Allan Poe
The Lake by Edgar Allan Poe
The Last Leaf by Oliver Wendell Holmes
The Lightning Rod Man by Herman Melville
The Man of the Crowd by Edgar Allan Poe
The Martyr by Herman Melville
The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe
The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe
The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe
The Premature Burial by Edgar Allan Poe
The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe
The Sleeper by Edgar Allan Poe
The Spectacles by Edgar Allan Poe
The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether by Edgar Allan Poe
The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
The Valley of Unrest by Edgar Allan Poe
To the River by Edgar Allan Poe
Ulalume by Edgar Allan Poe
What the Birds Said by John Greenleaf Whittier
William Wilson by Edgar Allan Poe
Alone by Edgar Allan Poe
Through "Alone," one can get understand who Edgar Allan Poe is and where he is coming from. Poe writes with emotion and passion because his narratives encompass his feelings about his life and the different obstacles he has faced. When one reads "Alone," they really began to catch a glimpse into the kind of life that Poe endured. Through his passion, you can come to the realization that this poem is from the heart. Poe also writes with similarity because he is a Dark Romanticist. His other works are very similar in the theme and style because they are all written by Poe. From life experiences to the characteristics of writing to other works, Poe's writing expresses his feelings of childhood and the life he endured.
When someone reads "Alone" by Poe, they really can understand how Poe felt as a child. In the poem, it basically explains that the narrator was not like the other children, and the things he found to be beautiful were quite different from what others saw. It also talks about the sorrow that the narrator felt as a child and how it has still followed him through life (Poe, "Alone"). This reflects on Poe's life because Poe had a pretty rough childhood. His father left his family when he was only two and while he was still a child, his mother died and he had to be separated from the rest of his family (Sova). So through reading "Alone," the sorrow that felt by the narrator could be reflected towards the sorrow that Poe felt as a child who was basically alone in life and who had endured many sorrowful things. In "Alone," the narrator also talks about how there are so many beautiful things in life, but all he can see is the darkness. No light can ever come through the darkness (Poe, "Alone"). It can be assumed that this darkness is Poe's life. No matter what joyous experiences he happens to come across, there is still going to be that darkness that he felt as a child covering it all up. In the poem, it speaks of "a demon" that is covering up the light, and this demon can be portrayed as Poe's childhood (Poe, "Alone"). Overall, Poe used his childhood and the treacherous experiences he endured in order to get his feelings across.
"Alone" displays prominent characteristics of Romanticism throughout the entire poem. Though Poe was a Dark Romanticist, he also encompassed characteristics of just plain Romanticism into "Alone." One of these characteristics would be the innocence of a child (Langley). Romanticists believe in the value of a child and their innocence, and that is exactly what this poem encompasses. The narrator talks about how he was just a different kind of a child who just did not fit in (Poe, "Alone"). The reader can see this as pure innocence. Though, he was different, he was still just a child who was purely innocent. But, with being a Dark Romanticist, Poe incorporated the sorrow that the narrator felt as a child (Poe, "Alone"). Also, the poem includes many characteristics of nature. Within the poem, the sun, lightning, thunder, storms, and clouds among others were used (Poe, "Alone"). Romanticism really reflects the beauty of nature and everything that is incorporated into it (Langley). And once again, being a Dark Romanticist, Poe shuns out the beauty of nature because it is hidden by all of the darkness that is over-compassing it (Poe, "Alone"). Poe portrayed characteristics of Romanticism throughout all of "Alone," and generally portrayed them very well.
With comparisons of previous works done by Poe, including "Hop-Frog," to "Alone," they can see the similarities and differences within them. While in "Hop-Frog," the narrator gets revenge and becomes fulfilled, in "Alone," there is really no fulfillment (Poe, "Alone"). There is always going to be darkness that shuns out the better things in life. Both works were very gloomy; the only difference was the ending. In "Hop-Frog," the ending was idealistic; Poe had only wished to have that kind of fairy tale ending in his life (Poe, "Hop-Frog"). In "Alone," the ending was realistic. In Poe's life, the better things in life never out-shined the darker things that the narrator had endured during his childhood (Poe, "Alone"). Poe also writes with a consistency towards the darker things in life. He does this for the sole reason of being a Dark Romanticist; so Poe, therefore, does a very good job at being consistent in his writing. An author generally sticks to a specific theme and style throughout all of their writing, and Poe goes right along with them.
Poe depicts his feelings and is able to get his point across to the reader by encompassing life experiences, Romanticism characteristics, and previous works into the work at hand. When one reads this work, they really can grasp the kind of a person that Poe really was. He was one who did not let his light shine through the previous darkness he endured. Though this is actually pretty sad, it helped Edgar Allan Poe to become one of the most prominent writers in history. He is legendary for his Dark Romanticist-like qualities. Fortunately, we get the opportunity to read these great works done by Poe, but unfortunately we know what Poe had to endure in order to write extraordinary poems like "Alone."
Langley, John. “Romanticism 1800-1860.”
Mr. Langley's Digital Classroom
. 24 Oct. 2010. Web. 08 Dec. 2010. <
>. Microsoft PowerPoint File.
Poe, Edgar Allan. "Alone."
Edgar Allan Poe, Short Stories, Tales, and Poems
. Web. 10 Dec. 2010. <
Poe, Edgar Allan. "Hop-Frog."
Edgar Allan Poe, Short Stories, Tales, and Poems
. Web. 09 Dec. 2010. <
Sova, Dawn B. "Poe, Edgar Allan." Critical Companion to Edgar Allan Poe: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work, Critical Companion. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2007. Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc.
ffazpoe0957&SingleRecord=True (accessed December 9, 2010).
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