Hop-Frog by Edgar Allan Poe

Through "Hop-Frog," one can get a feel for who Edgar Allan Poe is. He encompasses the ideas of Romanticism throughout his entire work and makes sure that the reader is able to see it. He also uses his life and the experiences that he has endured in order to write his literary works. His childhood was not the best kind, and through "Hop-Frog," one can see this. He also writes with a similarity. He is a Dark Romanticist and his writing reflects this. When reading and comparing works done by Poe, the reader gets a feel for the type of writer that he really is. Poe is the kind of author that encompasses his true feelings throughout all of his writing and makes sure that reader realizes these similarities.

Edgar Allan Poe does a very good job at portraying the characteristics of Romanticism through his short story of “Hop-Frog.” While reading a short story, one should be able to pick out the characteristics that are prominent in the story. In “Hop-Frog,” this is very true. While reading it, the reader, if they know anything about Romanticism, is just drawn to the abundance of Romanticism characteristics. One of the major characteristics portrayed is the value of feelings and intuition over reason (Langley). Hop-Frog is a very emotional kind of a person, and he really lets his feelings get the best of him. He burns the king and his seven other councilmen to death in front of an abundance of people at the masquerade (Poe, "Hop-Frog"). If one were to think it over, they would obviously realize that it was really not the reasonable thing to do. But Hop-Frog let his feelings get the best of him, and decided to punish the king and councilmen for the horrific things that they did. Granted, the men deserved punishment, but murder is something that can never be taken back. Hop-Frog felt he was the protector, and he did the only thing that came to mind in order to accomplish the goal of protecting himself and Trippetta. Trippetta is another dwarf who was taken from her home land. She is very pretty and the king takes advantage of her all of the time, like hitting her when she does not do something that is "appropriate" (Poe, "Hop-Frog"). Another characteristic portrayed throughout Hop-Frog is the value of youthful innocence compared to educated sophistication (Langley). Poe portrayed Hop-Frog as a dwarf, and he was therefore depicted as more of a child due to his size. The king and his men were thought to be the most educated and sophisticated men, for the sole reason of their power. The "powerful" ones were also the most "educated." When compared, Hop-Frog and Trippetta were the "innocent" ones, while the king and his men were the antagonists (Poe, "Hop-Frog"). Since Poe made this comparison and made the story play out the way it did, it is obvious that he prefers the youthful innocence compared to the educated sophistication. Poe does a very good job at portraying the characteristics of Romanticism throughout "Hop-Frog." From the cognitive perspective of the person to the physical characteristics of them, Poe encompassed the ideas of Romanticism into everything (Poe, "Hop-Frog"). If the reader can pinpoint the exact spot that the characteristic was used, then the author did their job at depicting and getting their idea of the literary period across. And Edgar Allan Poe did just that.

While growing up, Poe did not really have that ideal childhood. He went through harsh times, and these times have helped to affect his writing today. Through "Hop-Frog," Poe gives us a glance into the kind of life he had. His father was an alcoholic and a betting man, but he really was not very good at it. He had a horrible temper and was prone to hitting his wife. But, when Poe was only two years old, his father deserted him, his mother, and two brothers (Sova). Through "Hop-Frog," the reader can see how Poe incorporated the abuse that was put upon his mother by his father to the abuse that Trippetta endured from the king. In the short story, Hop-Frog is not a child, but with being a dwarf, he resembles the physicality of a child and is treated like one. Poe was only a child when his father left him. So, through "Hop-Frog," Poe is conveying his anger towards his father by having Hop-Frog kill the king (Poe, "Hop-Frog"). Poe was only a child when his father beat and left his mother, but if he had been older and had the strength of a men, he would have prevented the abuse (Sova). When Poe was still a child, his mother died of tuberculosis and he and his brothers were sent to live with different families (Sova). In "Hop-Frog," Hop-Frog and Trippetta were both taken from their homes and sent to live with the king and have done with them what the king wished (Poe, "Hop-Frog"). So Poe portrays the kind of neglect that he felt through Hop-Frog and Trippetta. Through all of "Hop-Frog," Poe really incorporates his childhood experiences into the experiences of Hop-Frog and Trippetta.

The writing style of Poe is prominent in all of his other works. He is a Romanticist, and therefore, has a Romanticist-style of writing. Dark Romanticism is his area of expertise, and in turn writes with the dark-kind of writing. Through the poem, "Alone," Poe writes of his childhood and basically the kind of harsh things he endured (Poe, "Alone"). In "Hop-Frog," he in turn writes about the similar experiences of his childhood (Poe, "Hop-Frog"). Both of the works are more on the line of depressing and gloomy and are both about the darker childhood experiences that Poe endured. In "Hop-Frog," Hop-Frog eventually is the "winner" and achieves this by killing the king (Poe, "Hop-Frog"). In "Alone," there is really no winning. Poe talks of a demon that has been with him since his childhood, and will basically never go away (Poe, "Alone"). So in comparison, "Hop-Frog" is about the achievement that Poe wished that he could have had, and "Alone" is the more realistic side of things. Both literary works, and all of Poe's literary works, are similar for the sole reason of being written by the same author. An author has a certain type of writing and generally sticks to a theme, and Poe is not an exception.

Poe incorporates a variety of things into his works, and the reader is able to pick out these kind of things. Poe writes with great passion and heart because his work his him. He is Romanticism. He is his childhood. He is his other works. That is really all there is to Poe. If you know one literary work by him, you know them all. Poe is a great author who understands what the reader wants. He does not write biographies, and he does not write the exact same works over and over. But he encompasses everything all together. He gets out his life while keeping the reader entertained. And in my book, that is what an author is suppose to do.

Works Cited
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 Allan. "Alone." Edgar Allan Poe, Short Stories, Tales, and Poems. Web. 10 Dec. 2010. <http://poestories.com/read/alone>.

Poe, Edgar Allan. "Hop-Frog." Edgar Allan Poe, Short Stories, Tales, and Poems. Web. 09 Dec. 2010. <http://poestories.com/read/hop-frog>.

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. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE54&SID=5&iPin= ffazpoe0957&SingleRecord=True (accessed December 9, 2010).