Write an essay discussing the following points:
  1. Thoroughly show how the work of literature fits the definition of Romanticism.
  2. Show how the writer’s life affected his/her work.
  3. Show how the work compares in style, character, theme, etc. to other works by the author and to your other assigned work.


Edgar Allan Poe is mostly known for his Dark Romanticism poems and short stories. In the short story, Eleonora, Poe writes about an unnamed narrator and his cousin, Eleonora. Poe uses many different aspects of Romanticism in the story. In the beginning, he uses Romanticism as a good thing and enjoys nature, and as the story goes on, he becomes darker and depressive (Poe, Eleonora). Poe went through the same events in his life that went on throughout the story of Eleonora. The short story, Eleonora is also like many of the other Romanticism works that have been read in class. In the story, Eleonora, Poe uses Romanticism to express his feelings, he gives a story that portrays to events in his life, and the story is similar to stories that have been read in class before.
Eleonora is a short story that uses a lot of Romanticism. Dark Romanticism is “using nature by force” (Langley). This means that there is nature that represents many of the feelings the writers have in their stories. Poe, for example in his story, Eleonora, starts out as nature as a kind a good things. In the beginning of the story, the narrator is living with his widowed aunt and her daughter, Eleonora. Eleonora and the narrator live in a place called the “Valley of the Many Colored Grass”. This is a valley where no strangers go. It is in between some hills. Their house was deep in the forest where no one would be able to see it. There was a river called the River of Silence (Poe, Eleonora). The river is deep and narrow. It was called the River of Silence because it moved with a hush sound. It had pebbles on the ground that did not move with the water and they were there forever (Poe, Eleonora). As the narrator and Eleonora are living with each other in this isolated spot for fifteen years, they start to fall in love with each other. This is a part where Romanticism becomes major.
While the two kids are falling in love, Poe describes everything in the Valley of the Many Color Grass very graciously. Poe says, “Strange, brilliant flowers, star-shaped, burn out upon the trees where no flowers had been known before. The tints of the green carpet deepened; and when, one by one, the white daisies shrank away, there sprang’ up in place of them, ten by ten of the ruby red asphodel” (Poe, Eleonora). This shows deep Romanticism. “Nature is a source of sensations--healthy feelings. It is therapy for a diseased, overcivilized heart. Humans can discover emotional health in nature. Such health leads to moral and spiritual clarity” (Drake). Eleonora shows this because of the love the two kids shared, it made him clear and he loved Eleonora.
This happiness did not stay with the couple. Eleonora had a sickness. “She had been made perfect in loveliness only to die” (Poe, Eleonora). This is a strong statement because it leads the reader to believe Eleonora was destined for this ending, as she actually was. The narrator promised Eleonora that he will never love again and that his heart is always with her when she goes into heaven. He says he would “Never bind myself in marriage to any daughter of Earth” (Poe, Eleonora). These parts of the story show the romantic view of Romanticism. Romanticism is not all about Romance. It deals with inner intuition and following what you feel rather than following what is rational (Langley). This holds true because the narrator is young at this time and he does not realize what he is promising on not marrying another woman as long as he lives. When Eleonora dies, Poe describes the Valley of the Many Colored Grass as “The star-shaped flowers shrank into the stems of the trees, and appeared no more. The tints of the green carpet faded; and, one by one the ruby-red asphodels withered away; and there sprang up, in place of them, ten by ten, dark, eye-like violets, that writhed uneasily and were every encumbered with dew” (Poe, Eleonora).
The narrator wanted to feel Eleonora around him and he asked if she would come to him at night. She did and one time he actually felt her kiss him on the lips. And at times she would visit him in the night. He missed Eleonora. He had to leave the Valley of the Many Colored Grass because it became too dark without her. He went to work for the kind and when he did he met a girl who also made his heart stop. Her name is Ermengarde. He did not feel any guilt for marrying her because he loved her. At night, Eleonora came to visit him and she told him that he was forgiven because she knew that he loved her (Poe, Eleonora).
The short story shows many aspects of nature, which is a big part of Romanticism. Poe compared the narrator’s feelings to how the nature around him and how it reacted to the changers that he went through during his life. Poe describes everything in the story with great detail. He shows Romanticism in the beginning because he sees nature as beautiful and he follows what he feels by falling in love with his cousin. Then, he changes to Dark Romanticism. As stated in the beginning, Dark Romanticism uses nature by force (Langley). This is represented throughout the story because Poe uses nature to explain his feelings and the sadness he is going through from Eleonora dying.
Authors usually write about things that have happened in their life. Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts. His parents were both actors. His father left the family when he was born. He mother died when Poe was two from tuberculosis. He then moved in with a tobacco farmer named, John Allan. That is where Poe got his middle name, Allan (Shaw). Poe enrolled into the Army as Edgar A. Perry. When he got out of the Army two years later, he moved to Baltimore Maryland. He moved in with his widowed aunt, Maria Clemm. He was writing stories to get money. Maria had a daughter named Virginia. Poe married Virginia on May 16, 1836 in Richmond. Virginia was thirteen at the time (Shaw). Virginia died of tuberculosis. She had a beautiful voice and Poe enjoyed her singing. While she was singing, she coughed up blood. It was a sign of the disease that toke her life.
The story Eleonora represents Poe’s life immensely. First of all it deals with cousins. In the story, the narrator lives with his aunt and cousin and he starts to fall in love with her (Poe). Poe also fell in love with his cousin, Virginia (Shaw). Both of the cousins were young. In the story, Eleonora is fifteen, which is very young (Poe). Virginia and Poe got married when she was only thirteen (Shaw). This is alike from the story to Poe’s real life. Another big parallel is that both of the girls die. It was not stated what Eleonora died of, but Virginia died of tuberculosis. The narrator in the story described the Valley of the Many Colored Grass as it dying and becoming sad (Poe). Poe kind of went through this in his own life by starting to drink (Shaw). Drinking is never good. After Virginia died, Poe started to court a young poet named, Sarah Helen Whitman. They did not get married because of his drinking, but this part of his life can compare to the time in the story when the narrator found another love, Ermengarde (Shaw)(Poe, Eleonora). The spirit of Eleonora came and told the narrator that he can move on to a better life (Poe). Poe did not follow this in his real life because he kept drinking and it finally killed him in 1849 (Shaw). Poe used his own personal experience to write the story Eleonora.

Poe uses many reoccurring themes in his writings. There is some about death, drinking, and love. These are all aspects that Poe follows throughout his writing. In the story, “The Raven”, Poe was reading a book while he fell asleep. He was having a dream about a raven coming to him and saying nevermore. The word nevermore stood for the fact that Poe would never be with his lost love again (Poe, Raven). This happens again in the story, “Eleonora” Because when Poe finally moves on in his life and finds love again, the spirit of Eleonora leaves him (Poe, Eleonora).The names are also alike. The “The Raven”, the name of the lost love is Lenore, is sounds like the name of the girl who dies in Eleonora (Poe, The Raven, Eleonora). There is also the theme of drinking. After the tragedy of the death of Virginia, Poe’s wife, he started to drink (Shaw). In Poe’s “An Angel of the Odd” it is a comedy about drinking. This a natural theme because Poe was writing while he was drunk so this would cause his writings to be about things that are happening to him. Also in “The Black Cat”, it also deals with drinking (Poe, Black). Poe and his writings are all alike in a way because they pertain to his life and choices he has made in his life.

Poe is a Dark Romanticism author who expresses his feelings throughout his stories. He gives his stories with angles that seem to have something to do with his own life. He uses many examples of Romanticism in his writings. He uses nature to explain his feelings at the time.
Alfred J. "Romanticism and Nature." Portal Site of Alfred J. Drake, Ph.D. Web. 09 Dec. 2010. http://www.ajdrake.com/e212_sum_04/materials/guides/rom_nature.htm.

Langley, John. “Romanticism 1800-1860.” Mr. Langley's Digital Classroom. 24 Oct. 2010. Web. 08 Dec. 2010. <http://sites.google.com/site/mrlangleysroom/treasure-chest/presentations>. Microsoft Powerpoint File.


Poe, Edgar A. "The Angel of the Odd by Edgar Allan Poe." Edgar Allan Poe, Short Stories, Tales, and Poems. Web. 09 Dec. 2010. http://poestories.com/read/angeloftheodd


Poe, Edgar A. "The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe." Edgar Allan Poe, Short Stories, Tales, and Poems. Web. 09 Dec. 2010. http://poestories.com/read/blackcat


Poe, Edgar A. "Edgar Allan Poe - Eleonora." Free Public Domain Books from the Classic Literature Library. Free Public Domain Books. Web. 09 Dec. 2010. http://www.classic-literature.co.uk/american-authors/19th-century/edgar-allan-poe/eleonora/.

Poe, Edgar A. "The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe." Edgar Allan Poe, Short Stories, Tales, and Poems. Web. 09 Dec. 2010. http://poestories.com/read/raven.


Shaw, George B. "Edgar Allan Poe." Read Easily - Ebooks Online Library. Web. 09 Dec. 2010. http://www.readeasily.com/edgar-allan-poe/index.php.