Recall from the summary of â€œThe Literature of the Early to Mid-Nineteenth Century:â€ â€œ[i]maginative literature became intense, personal, and symbolicâ€¦writers of gothic terror novels sought to arouse in their readers a turbulent sense of the remote, the supernatural, and the terrifying by describing castles and landscapes illuminated by the moonlight and haunted by specters.â€ (378-9)
The explanation continues and implies that â€œterrorâ€ and darkness are metaphors for contradictions in society (racial, religious, ideological). Based on what you know from earlier readings, consider the work of Poe, who places terrors in animals and personal ghosts of memory, and Irving who describes both the Headless Horseman and those Rip Van Winkle meets as reminiscent of the Dutch (where the Puritans/Pilgrims came from before arriving in the New World).
What inferences can you make about the symbols used in these stories?
What metaphors are being used?
Discuss the national, societal conflicts you read in these works.
McMichael, G. L., & Leonard, J. S. (2010). Concise Anthology of American Literature. Boston: Longman.
Rubin-Dorsky, J. (Dec. 1986). Washington Irving: Sketches of Anxiety. American Literature, 58(4), 499-522. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2926438
Must be at least 150 words with references and quotes to support your answer