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Contrasting Visions in Poe Hawthorne and Melville Gothic Romanticism has eight basic characteristics All of Gothic stories carry most of these traits These traits are hero-villain conflict a person place or object possessing a great power a virtue is hidden in the story-line personal magnetism is evident usually includes some criminal act explained supernatural an enchanted setting such as an ancient castle and extensive and insistent literary allusion Edgar A Poe Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville are authors of Gothic Romanticism All three authors style has multiple levels of interpretation and is loaded with allegories but each has a slightly different vision Poes The Tale-Tell Heart Hawthornes The Birth-Mark and Melvilles Bartleby the Scrivener each represents a different vision Poe wrote tales to sell-the more fantastic the better These tales were often graphic horror stories with madman elements and gore The Tale-Tell Heart is a great example of this version of Gothic Romanticism In this story a madman the narrator kills an old man who he is the servant of He irrationally justifies the killing of this man because he apparently has a dead or lazy eye that drove him insane The murder scene is quite horrifying and graphic Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased It grew quicker and louder and louder every instant The old mans terror must have been extreme It grew louder I say louder every momentAnd now at the dead hour of night and amid the dreadful silence of that old house so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable wrath Yet for some minutes longer I refrained and kept still But the beating grew louder louder I thought the heart must burst And now a new anxiety seized me-the sound would be heard by a neighbor The old mans hour had come With a loud yell I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room He shrieked once---once only In an instant I dragged
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