Essay Poe'S Unity Of Effect

Essay Poe'S Unity Of Effect-68
The application of this principle can also apply to the major portion of Poe's works; it is clearly one of Poe's prime precepts for an ingredient of the short story.

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Anything that appealed solely to the intellect could not be considered art because art existed in the world of the beautiful, the refined, and the aesthetic.

Consequently, Poe, as a Romantic writer, dismissed most of the literary works of the eighteenth century, a period which concerned itself mainly with satire.

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Poe’s essays, as we have said in this blog, are enlightening.

Some of Poe's theories may seem, at times, to be out of style when one compares them with the current theories of no form at all, or nonobjective writing, but as long as Romantic literature is read, Poe's critical theories and principles will continue to be important.

Removing #book# from your Reading List will also remove any bookmarked pages associated with this title.However, as we look at the totality of his creative work, we see that a large portion of his works takes place in a very closed environment.The following selected examples do not exhaust Poe's use of this principle, but they do give us a good idea of the importance he placed on this device: "The Cask of Amontillado" occurs in an underground, closed vault; "The Pit and the Pendulum" takes place within the closed confines above a pit; "The Fall of the House of Usher" is set in the closed confines of a decaying castle; and the action in the poem "The Raven" takes place within a closed room or possibly, as some say, within the narrator's mind; similarly, the people in "The Masque of the Red Death" are locked behind closed iron gates and confined within a closed castle, "William Wilson" is told within the frenzied mind of a schizophrenic, and the action of "The Tell-Tale Heart" is confined within a closed room.For Poe, satire could create no sense of the beautiful within the reader.And also, much of eighteenth-century literature is epigrammatic (something short), and Poe believed that the epigrammatic approach to art could not create a lasting emotional impression within the reader. in the construction of the effect" ("Philosophy of Composition"). Melancholy is thus the most legitimate of all the poetical tones." As a result of these views, Poe felt that the most effective subject for a work of art was the death of a beautiful young lady; this is perhaps Poe's most famous and most often repeated dictum, and, furthermore, to achieve the greatest amount of emotional melancholy, the death of the beautiful young lady should be expressed by the lips of the bereaved lover.Writings that were moralistic or allegorical were likewise unacceptable to Poe because they failed to appeal to one's sense of beauty. for such combinations of event, or tone, as shall best aid . In much of his poetry, the effect he most aimed for was one of beauty and melancholy. As examples, we have "Annabel Lee," "Lenore," "Ligeia," "To Helen" and numerous other works on this subject.More than any other principle, Poe emphasized the unity of effect that one should strive for in any work of art. "The most elevating and the most pure pleasure is found in the contemplation of the beautiful," he said in the same essay, and "if beauty is the province of the poem, then the tone should be one of sadness. And even though Poe did recognize other subjects as legitimate topics for art (he did praise Hawthorne, who very rarely concerned himself with a beautiful, dying woman), the death of a beautiful woman remained Poe's favorite subject. that the phrase 'a long poem' is a flat contradiction in terms." Therefore, a work of art should be able to achieve its effect in one sitting.Consequently, Poe's theory about the length of the work of art — "to be read in one sitting" and no more than "half an hour" — has influenced many subsequent writers.In terms of Poe's actual practice of writing literature, the reader or critic can deduce certain principles that Poe himself never set down, but that he practiced again and again as an author.For example, words and phrases that occur and re-occur in Poe's various critical writings include the following: "to affect," "the totality of impression," "the unity of effect," "the novelty of the effect alone," and "the single effect," and these are only selected examples of his repetition of the value of this principle; Poe's writings contain many more examples of this emphasis. In his own words, he writes: "The death, then, of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world — and equally is it beyond doubt that the lips best suited for such a topic are those of a bereaved lover" ("Philosophy of Composition"). For this reason, Poe believed that the greatest art was contained in a poem of about 100 lines (his most famous poem, "The Raven," is 108 lines long), and Poe, in a similar vein, believed that the short story should be of a length that one could read it in one sitting.By these statements, Poe meant that the artist should decide what effect he wants to create in the reader's emotional response and then proceed to use all of his creative powers to achieve that particular effect: "Of the in-numerable effects, or impressions, of which the heart or the soul is susceptible, what one shall I, on the present occasion, select? Fear, for example, was often the effect Poe chose for many of his short stories and every word and every image was carefully chosen to create an effect of fear within the mind of the reader. In conjunction with the unity of effect, we have Poe's dictum on the appropriate length of a work of art. The totality of effect, he said, was destroyed if two sittings were required for a work of art.


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