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:Edgar Allan Poe:

Recurring Themes

            There are certain themes that reoccur in Poe's works. His use of death and dying as a theme is then followed by a ritual. For instance, in one of Poe’s most famous works, “Annabel Lee”, he focuses on death through the repetition of “That the wind came out of a cloud at night, chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.” He also focuses on lying along the side “In her sepulcher there by the sea— in her tomb by the side of the sea”, the speaker therefore must believe that she must be looking down on him in the afterlife. Finally, this was very unusual in Gothicism, being that it deals with horrible situations, and does not focus explicitly on death. Most certainly it does not take interest in burial ceremonies.

            In addition, another theme Poe is known for is the ability to speak to others who are deceased. For instance, “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” and is also used satirically in “Some words with Mummy”. This may show that Poe believed in the afterlife and in communicating with those who have parted.

            Thus, the recurring themes are what allow Poe to be considered a great American writer. Unlike other 19th century gothic writers, Poe had a unique style which was unmistakable. Therefore, other writers believed that his genius came from his modern themes, fixations, notions, and ideas.

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