The Tell-Tale Heart Historical Context

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Literature in the 19th Century

Poe wrote at a time when the United States was experiencing rapid economical and geographical expansion. During the mid-nineteenth century, the most popular authors in the growing United States were those who wrote adventure fiction. American nautical explorations (particularly of the Pacific region) and westward expansion captured the imagination of the public. Such Poe stories as "A Descent into the Maelstrom" and "The Gold Bug" reflect the public's fascination with adventures at home and abroad. Poe's America was a vibrant and self-assured young nation with a firm belief in its manifest destiny. James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans, which outlined the moral struggles of an expanding country, was a moral tale that pitted the white man against Native Americans. Herman Melville was a favorite with readers, with his novels of sea-faring life, which often paled in comparison to the adventures of...

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This section contains 728 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Tell-Tale Heart Study Guide
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The Tell-Tale Heart from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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