American literature | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by J. Gerald Kennedy

This literature criticism consists of approximately 41 pages of analysis & critique of American literature.
This section contains 12,230 words
(approx. 41 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by J. Gerald Kennedy

Critical Essay by J. Gerald Kennedy

SOURCE: “Writing and the Problem of Death” in Poe, Death, and the Life of Writing, Yale University Press, 1987, pp. 1-31.

In the following essay, Kennedy examines the responses to death of various nineteenth-century American writers—including Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Cullen Bryant, Washington Irving, and James Fenimore Cooper—eventually focusing on the role of death in Poe's works.

In the grip of death, Poe's Ligeia asks her husband to recite “certain verses composed by herself not many days before.” Nineteenth-century readers must have anticipated a scene of deathbed intimacy in which the dying woman would through a consolatory rhyme signify her readiness to die. Similar scenes filled contemporary fiction and poetry and—according to memoirs and biographies of the same period—mirrored a pervasive...

(read more)

This section contains 12,230 words
(approx. 41 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by J. Gerald Kennedy