Summary: How Edgar Allan Poe Changed American Literature

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In today’s society, Edgar Allan Poe’s works in relation to gothic elements has influenced American literature and modern education all around. Edgar Allan Poe himself started this gothic style of writing in the horror genre that brought about elements including macabre, suspense and fear, as well as supernatural elements. As a creative writer, he brought insight into a realm of fiction writing that many had not thought of but are now inspired when writing their own works.

Poe was able to make a name for himself and received great recognition in 1845 when he published “The Raven”. He felt that he was now able to be taken more seriously in his work as a writer. Edgar had brought about new forms and styles of detective writing inspired by gothic elements that changed American literature. “He was also one of the first critics to focus primarily on the effect of style and structure in a literary work; as such, he has been seen as a forerunner to the ‘art for art’s sake’ movement.” Throughout his career, he incorporated elements of gothic literature pertaining to suspense and violent supernatural incidents in his writing.

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It’s interesting to see today how many people were influenced by his writing techniques. Without him, many would not have branched out into this creative writing realm to experience new styles. “Within a year Poe gained wide recognition through his stories and mocking book reviews. He gained reputation of a critic who fearlessly attacked not just the writing but also openly criticized the author.”  He went through some very low moments in his life where feeling hopeless was normal for him. Through his writing he expresses some of these experiences where he overcame times of loneliness. “Although various critics have termed Poe, a Gothic writer, yet various others have called him the father of horror literature. The recurring themes of most of his poems and short stories are always death.”  Edgar’s influence on today’s society is significant because many children and young adults are learning about someone who greatly influenced American literature.

His poems and short stories were noticed to incorporate mystery and suspense, relating to depressing time periods of Poe’s early childhood. As Edgar grew both physically and mentally, he knew he was different and acted upon this. “His contribution in the genre of science fiction and horror won him great recognition and appreciation during his lifetime and after his death. He is also considered to be the first well-known American Author who attempted to make his living solely on the basis of his writing career.”  Today, many famous authors and poets have taken his lead to help them open their imagination more. “Nearly every other American writer writing in detective or horror style, such as Clive Barker or Stephen King, have followed his footsteps. The genre of horror fiction owes a great deal to Poe for its popularity.” Through gothic style of horror writing, Edgar Allan Poe changed American literature and one’s perspective on creative writing.          

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