Did Transcendentalism affect Edgar Allan Poe's writing?

Expert Answers
beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Transcendentalism affected Edgar Allan Poe’s literature because he abhorred it. Poe’s writing, considered part of the American Romantic period, was Dark Romantic. He wrote of evil and macabre subjects that included suffering and death, while the Transcendentalists wrote of spirituality and communing with the natural world. One of Poe’s tenets for writing was that a piece of literature is meant to be read in one sitting; therefore he wrote mostly poetry, prose, and essays. In one of his short stories, “Never Bet the Devil Your Head,” Poe shows his disapproval of Transcendentalism and its followers’ belief in spirituality. He mentions the movement in this short story and has the main character stand before the devil even as he states his disbelief in evil. In short, Poe had no tolerance for the beliefs of Transcendentalism, as demonstrated in his deep, dark literary work.