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Edgar Allan Poes Mockery of Transcendentalism in The Fall of the House of Usher Throughout the development of our culture there have been a large number of literary movements From existentialism to naturalism humanism to surrealism they all play an important role in the development of the literature we read today One important movement during the nineteenth century is known as the transcendentalist movement Transcendentalism is a form of idealism In philosophy and literature it is the belief in a higher reality than that found in sense experience or in a higher kind of knowledge than that achieved by human reason Nearly all transcendentalist doctrines stem from the division of reality into a realm of spirit and a realm of matter This movement influenced many great writers such as Henry David Thoreau Ralph Waldo Emerson and Edgar Allan Poe While Thoreau and Emerson upheld the beliefs of transcendentalism in nearly all of their works Poe criticizes those beliefs This is strongly displayed in his short story The Fall of the House of Usher Poe mocks transcendentalism in many different ways throughout The Fall of the House of Usher Rather than the traditional upward spiral which is very characteristic of transcendentalism Poe has a continual downward spiral throughout this work The mockery begins with the description of the house in the opening of the story and is reflected in nearly every aspect surrounding the house and its occupants Transcendentalists compose work containing bright colors and heavenly tones They are optimistic and believe in living in the here and now Poe ridicules this flowery aspect in the first sentence of the story It opens in autumn during the whole of a dull dark and soundless daywhen the clouds hung oppressively low in the sky Poe 95 The gloomy setting is visible throughout the entire story In the beginning the atmosphere and house are used to set the dreary tone During the close of
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