Writing Style Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe

I chose to analyze and recreate the literary style of the Gothic author Edgar Allan Poe. The 19th century author created dinstinct atmospheres within his work, in part,  with intricate vocabulary. For example in “Fall of the House of Usher,” Edgar Allan Poe describes the house as being adorned with “phantasmagoric armorial trophies.” Using a word as eye catching as phantasmagoric forces the reader to pause and take some thought of the sentence. This pause immediately sets a tone for the passage and makes the reader notice the details of Poe’s story. Another element to Edgar Allan Poe is repetition. This repetition ensures that readers will contemplate the deeper meaning of his writing and understand which concepts are important in his stories. In “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the narrator, after claiming that he is not insane, goes on to describe “how stealthily, stealthily” he proceeds when entering the chamber of the elderly man and illuminating the room with the lantern. The repetition of “stealthily” demonstrates just how sneaky and narrator is, suggesting that he is, in fact, insane.

What these separates parts work together to create imagery that strengthens the readers’ comprehension of Poe’s writing. As he begins his account of his reunion with Roderick Usher in “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe describes Roderick’s physical features, which include lips that are “somewhat thin and very pallid,” hair that contains “more than web-like softness,” and a face characterized by a “finely moulded chin.” Functional descriptions serve Poe by further empowering the atmosphere in his literature. One potentially interesting aspect of Poe’s writing style is while he no doubt wrote in a dark Gothic style, Poe often managed to infuse and underlying comedic tone to much of what he wrote.

Below is a link to more examples of Edgar Allen Poe’s writing.

http://poestories.com/stories.php

 

Here’s my take on Edgar Allan Poe’s writing style:

These demons came to haunt me, in a cage that gave no warnings as to the precariousness held within. With ultimate trepidation I watched from afar as the latch of the courser was handled carefully and opened. With this same trepidation I witnessed the first of my nightmares to emerge from the black; but still I held firm. At first I saw nothing from within the cage but before long I saw them; those wicked glowing eyes that have come to haunt me now. With languorous strides the two stepped into the room, those eyes darting, peering towards me in a manner that sent my blood cold.  They have been an intrusion since that foreboding eve, their insufferable purrs narrating the darkest recesses of my fear, their stench of fish permeating throughout what I thought to be my home. I have been a patient patient soul but I fear I will soon wear thin. I only pray that I may find a cleansing pastoral soon from these damnable cats.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

I wrote my paragraph with the intent to create a chilling atmosphere with the use of Poe’s intricate vocab use.  Along with this I tried to use a a sentence structure that establishes an extra descriptive layer to the sentence. My goal was to use this vocabulary and sentence structure to create a dark tone within my short story about my girlfriend and her roommate getting two new cats. Hopefully this imagery was something resembling Edgar Allan Poe’s literary style.

 

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About ankrajew

I'm a senior Sociology major at Texas Tech University. View all posts by ankrajew

3 responses to “Writing Style Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe

  • Clayton Pearson

    Your writing sample did a good job at including descriptive words and seemed to mimic Poe’s style relatively well! After reading some of the stories from the link you provided, I can see similarities between your sample and his works. For example, you incorporated words that set a dark and haunting tone. I also feel that your paragraph resembled Poe’s style by describing things more than once so that the reader can easily picture what is going on.

    I noticed that Poe tended to use “em dashes” (–) very often in his stories. You may want to include some of those to more closely resemble his writing style! Other than that, your paragraph sounded very similar to Poe’s style.

  • Michael

    Anthony,

    Haha wow; when you say just what your passage is about, it makes perfect sense to me. The mood you set is not something I would correlate with the subject, but by you doing so, I can see Poe’s style clearly emulated. Having always been a subtle fan of Poe’s work, his style is clear and distinct, even from other American Gothic writers. You sir, have hit the nail on the head with your example, and with such wit and tact.

  • Lauren Stewart

    I really enjoyed reading your whole post about Edgar Allan Poe. I thought you did an awesome job of copying his writing style. You used the eerie, dark tone his writings possess, as well as the natural flow that I think makes his pieces easier to read than most. I also thought you captured him well with the undertones of humorous satire, as the piece sounded so creepy but was, in fact, talking about cats. The only thing I would change might be adding some more crazy words in there, like the “phantasmagoric” word you mentioned. But over all, you did a great job of covering Poe!

    -Lauren

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