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There were many great writers in the early 1800 s, such as Edgar Allen Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau, but each had many special qualities. These special qualities were sometimes similar throughout all of the writers, and some were very different. The main differences were split with writers such as Poe and Hawthorne, in the "Prophets of Darkness" and others were mostly "Prophets of Promise. " The main similarity between all transcendental writers in the early 1800 s, is they preached the power of the individual As obviously seen just from the name, the Prophets of Darkness were often more on a negative or sad subject. Some Prophets of Darkness were raised and brought their own selves into the chosen life where they wanted to write in sad dreariness. Others, such as Poe Were born into that. Poe had many family members die, the first being his mother, the last being his wife.
Every death brought him down more until he was at a point of insanity, maybe leading to his best writings. A good example of his astonishing writing skills is: "During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. " (Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher). This, being the very first words of his tale, show just how truly sad and dreary the setting is put out as. The power of nature is already introduced, with "shades of the evening" as this helps bring the depression to an already dreary subject. The prophets of darkness had many reasons to talk about power of the individual, because most evils are within a person's own mind. " TRUE! - Nervous - very, very dreadfully nervous I had been, and am; but why will you say that I am mad?" (Poe, The Tell Tale Heart). Here, Poor Poe shows his great writing by showing how an individual has the power of his own insanity.
The power of the individual is very important to the prophets of darkness for others often attack the main purpose of the individual, often an entire society, as in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. ""What do we talk of marks and brands, whether on the bodice of her gown or the flesh of her forehead?" cried another female, the ugliest as well as the most pitiless of these self-constituted judges. "This woman has brought shame upon us all, and ought to die; " (Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter) The Prophets of Promise were far more into the Individual. The individual needed to STAY individual, and never copy anyone else, unless because that individual wanted to, not because the other individual was. The main idea of Transcendentalism was knowing or wanting something else because you wanted to, or knew so, not because someone else told you so. Both Thoreau and Emerson had slightly different ideas of life, but the main reason was because only Thoreau would actually act on it. "Do not take notes because I am doing it. " (Thoreau, The Play) He truly believed he had to show the world it is okay to be individual. Thoreau went into solitude so he could spend time, in nature BEING an individual. For two years he would just write, and exist only coming into town and associating with non-individuals as little as possible.
Thoreau truly took it to the next level. In conclusion, both the prophets of promise and the prophets of darkness had ideas about the power of the individual, though, the Prophets of Promise believed in the individual being one of the most important things of everything. Their ideas shared thoughts of change and evils that needed fixing, but they differed in the end results. Also, generally, Prophets of Promise were more positive and had a more effective solution than the prophets of darkness.
It seems to be that the Prophets of Promise are the Strongest believers in the individual. Finally, all of the Transcendentalists of the 1800 s were true genius writers.
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