Herman Melville

Washington Irving
Edgar Allan Poe
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Herman Melville
 Dark
romantics/gothic writers
 Transcendentalist views
Still valued intuition over logic and reason
Spiritual facts lie within nature
These facts may be evil or harmful
 Balanced
view of good v. evil
 Psychological effects of guilt and sin
 Madness and derangement in the human
 Minimal
 Born in the final year of the Revolutionary
 Named after George Washington
 Satirist
 England for 17 years
 International literary celebrity
 Folk
lore and legends
Shared heritage of old ways, beliefs and tales
provide a connection to the past
 Mixed
realistic detail with elements of the
 Characters were stereotypes
 Setting
 Used humor, yet truth
 Fictional
Jonathan Oldstyle, Gent.
Diedrich Knickerbocker
A History of New York…
Satire of American History and political figures
Geoffrey Crayon
The Sketch Book
 Rip Van Winkle
 The Legend of Sleepy Hallow
The Devil and Tom Walker
 How
does the setting reflect a romantic
 Plot structure
 Mood
Emotion created in the reader by using
descriptive language and sensory details.
 Satire
A type of writing that ridicules the shortcomings
of people or institutions in an attempt to bring
about a change.
 Born
in Boston 1809
 Parents
Elizabeth Arnold Poe-actress, died of TB
David Poe-mediocre actor, alcoholic, abandoned
Edgar as a baby
 Orphaned
before age 3
Siblings (older brother, younger sister) were
 John
and Frances Allan
Foster parents, never formally adopted
 John
Successful merchant
Disapproved of Edgar
 Frances
Bragged about Poe
Died of TB
 University
of Virginia
Good student
Money, gambling, debts
 Joined
 U.S. Military Academy at West Point
 Moved
in with aunt Maria Poe Clemm in
Baltimore, Maryland
 At age 26, Poe married 13-year-old cousin
(Maria’s daughter)
 Continued writing while editing several
 Virginia died at 27 (1847) of TB
 Two
years later, Poe died at age 40
 Controversial and mysterious death
“Acute congestion of the brain” from drug and
alcohol overdoses
• Born in Independence Day 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts.
• Father died at sea
• Mother raised him and two sisters
• Married Sophia Peabody had three children
• Friends with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, author, and Franklin
Pierce, future president.
• Participated in the utopian experiment
• Died of gastrointestinal cancer in 1864
Family Skeletons
• Hathorne to Hawthorne
• William Hathorne, great-grandfather
• John Hathorne, grandfather
Spent twelve years in seclusion
Worked odd jobs-political positions often short-lived due to
change in parties
– Laid off from The Custom House and wrote The Scarlet Letter
in one year
– Twice-Told Tales, The Scarlet Letter, “Dr. Heidegger’s
Experiment,” “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Minister’s
Black Veil”
– Dark side of human nature
Mysteries of the human heart and the question
of human evil
 Symbol
Person, place, thing, or event that has meaning
in itself and also stands for something more than
American Flag
 Parable
Short, simple story from which a moral or
religious lesson can be drawn.
Many parables come from religious scriptures.
Meaning can often be ambiguous.
Prominent family; father died and left debt
19 he began sailing; lived among cannibals; enlisted in Navy. Wondered seas for 4
Whaling ship was his “Yale and Harvard”
Familiar with people’s beliefs and customs and places of the world
Writing-found early fame; wrote about personal adventures = popular. Couldn’t write
about the truth, what moved him b/c it wasn’t popular, didn’t pay
Wrote five novels from sailing experiences
Typee-fictionalized history of his stay at Nuku Hiva- cannibals. South Seas adventure
Omoo-Based on his experience in Tahiti
Mardi-disappointing-travel narrative of the mind
Moby-Dick – waling experiences and mysteries of human nature = unpopular
Captain Ahab pursues white whale that took off his leg
Pierre-tried to rebound, widely unpopular
Fire in the publisher’s warehouse destroyed remaining stock of books.
Billy Budd-written after retirement but published after his death
Tried magazine writing-failed
Writings reflect evil in all of existence

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