In Edgar Allan poes essay “The Philosophy of Composition” Poe explains to the reader how a story can properly be created. Poe begins by explaining how a story should revolve around its climax or “denouement”(Ps 2). Poe see’s a genuine advantage to this over the “ecstatic intuition”(Ps 5) and believes that storeys should hold a proper structure in a way that the writer knows why something was written the way it is.
Poes philosophy of composition could then be described as the way his storeys are planned while being written. following his intentions Poe now offerers 10 considerations that writers should use to build their storeys.the first three considerations are that of effect, extent and choice of impressionThe consideration of the effect is the first proposed. poe constructs effects to best suit the overall purpose of the story.
Poe explains that when creating effects on reader they can be constructed from a balance between tone and incidents. Poes describes this process as “whether by ordinary incidents and peculiar tone, or converse”(P4). whichever balance fits the story will have the greater impact.
The second consideration is that of the extent or the length of the story its self. Poe believes that poetry should be read in one sitting even going as far as to say that “if two settings are required, the affair of world interfere and everything like totality is at once destroyed” (P 10). In writing Poe argues that the length should be determined based on the effect that is planned. For example, poetry finds its effectiveness in short powerful readings.
This changes depending on the type of work where some books could be more effective by lengthening them selfs.The Third consideration is choice of the impression to be conveyed in the work. the underlying importance of this decision is described by Poe to make the work “universally appreciable”(P13). To this cause, Poe states that beauty is “the atmosphere and essence of the poem”(P13).
Poe believes that beauty should be maintained in order for the poem to be appreciable. Writers can use other effects in their storeys such truth and passion but beauty must be maintained.Tone, The character of the word and, locale are the 4th to 6th considerations.In terms of tone Poe believes that the greatest tone is one of sadness. Poe believed that beauty and sadness ware directly related and from the importance of beauty Poe determined that “melancholy is thus the most legitimate of all poetic tones” (P14). To achieve this Poe uses repeated themes through a single short word otherwise known as the refrain.
The character of the word is the 5th consideration and is based on what and how the refrain is implemented. Poe states that in order for the refrain to be effective it must be “sonorous and susceptible of protracted emphasis” (P 17) this mean’s that it must be capable of creating a deep long emphasis. To achieve this Poe used o as a vowel and r as a constant as they would produce this effect. In pose example he used a raven to achieve this goal as it fit the theme. The locale or location of the story is the 6th consideration. Poe uses this to decide where the raven will meet the characters in his story.
Poe explains that “a close circumscription of space is absolutely necessary to the effect of insulated incident” (P 26)