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Prince explains, “There’s a dark side to everything” (Prince). With this concept in mind, emotions can bring out the worst side of people. Every human being experiences emotions such as fear, anger, and passion. When given an opportunity, humans are known to take the easy way out even though it may cost them in the end. Not thinking of the consequences many individuals are blinded by greed, sadness, and guiltiness of the mind. The Dark Romantics such as Poe and Irving write stories to show that humans are prone to self-destruction and sin; it portrays individuals pushed to their limits, revealing a darker part of human nature. In “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Roderick is a character in whom Poe portrays emotions such as anger, passion, and fear to the readers. The short story reveals that certain circumstances can lead an individual being pushed to his or her limits. Poe shows the character Roderick being full of affliction due to his sister’s condition. His sister Madeline is cataleptic, meaning she is constantly having episodes in which her brother sees her in a “dead” state. The narrator says, “He admitted, however, although with hesitation, that much of the peculiar gloom which thus afflicted him could be traced to a more natural and far more palpable origin- to the severe and long-continued illness. Of a tenderly beloved sister, his sole companion for long years, his last and only relative on earth” (Poe,”The Fall of the House of Usher” 164-165). Poe uncovers to the readers that Roderick is full of affliction because he constantly sees his beloved sister sick, which puts emotions such as fear, passion, and anger into action. Poe reveals that with every cataleptic episode it takes a toll on Roderick, he continuously fears of future fears. One of those fears is that his sister may never wake up from one of her “episodes.” With these emotions fueling Roderick’s erratic mood, he is prone to making poor decisions, and to sin. With his sister’s condition, Roderick links his family’s misfortune to the mysteries of the household. He believes that the house and everything in it has a conscience. Poe uses Roderick’s theory to prove that humans, when under stress, are prone to self destruction. The narrator says, “The conditions of the sentience had been there, he imagined, fulfilled in the method of collocation of these stones” (Poe,”The Fall of the House of Usher”168). With this theory, the narrator sees the effect of circumstances such as Madeline’s condition pushing Roderick to his limit. Poe reveals that Roderick’s sin is a connection when it comes to family history. In “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe shows the heaviness of guilt such as dark thoughts leading an individual to sin. Poe gives a long description of the Usher Family showing evidence of incest. With this evidence, Poe begins to delve into the history of the Usher family. The narrator illustrates, “I had learned, too, the very remarkable fact that the stem of the Usher race, all-time honored as it was, had puth forth, at no period, any enduring branch; in other words, that the entire family lay in direct line of descent, and had always, with very trifling and very temporary variation so lain”(Poe, “The Fall of the House of Usher”162). The readers can deduce that Roderick himself may have done the act itself on Madeline, leading to a guilty conscience. Poe reveals that his guilty conscience leads Roderick to his motivation for burying Madeline. Roderick exclaims to the narrator that he has buried his sister alive. Roderick says in exasperation,”‘We have put her living in the tomb!'”(Poe,”The Fall of the House of Usher”172). Rodericks motivation to knowingly burying his sister is due to sin. Poe informs the readers of Roderick’s end when he dies because he chose not to free his sister from her coffin. The narrator describes, “In her violent and now final death agonies, bore him to the floor a corpse”(Poe, “The Fall of the House of Usher”172). A guilty conscience, dark thoughts, and a sinful motivation led to Roderick’s destruction. Another Romantic writer, Irving, further illustrates a human flaw such as greed.Washington Irving proves that greed rules bad decisions, which then leads to the person’s inevitable self-destruction in “The Devil and Tom Walker.” Irving portrays Tom as a greedy individual who cares nothing for his wife, but everything for his valuables. The narrator explains, “Tom grew uneasy for her safety, especially as he found she had carried off in her apron the silver teapot and spoons”(Irving 132). Readers see that even after finding out his wife is missing, Tom only cares about his valuables that she ran off with. With the deal made with the devil, Irving shows the success that Tom has made with money off of the suffering of others. The narrator says, “Tom lost his patience and his piety. ‘The devil take me,’ said he, ‘if I have made a farthing!'”(Irving 134). Irving reveals that Tom did not want his soul taken from the devil but in the end, his greed and trickery lead to his demise. The Dark Romantics such as Irving and Poe reveal that not only are humans prone to sin but also the descent into madness.In the poem “The Raven,” Poe proves that an individual overwhelmed with sadness and dark thoughts lead to madness. Poe begins the poem with a description of the narrator reading a volume about ol folklore which sets the mood into eeriness. The speaker describes, “Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore-“(Poe,”The Raven”2). With an eerie setting established, the folklore caused disconcert to the character. Poe shows the descent into madness, step by step beginning with a state of nervousness. The reader can see that the character is consumed with sadness due to a loss of a loved one. The speaker exclaims, “respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!”(Poe,”The Raven”82). Being already in the state of uneasiness, the speaker yells at the raven and demand that it relieves his sorrows of his past love, Lenore. Poe shows the dialogue between speaker and the raven being a descent into madness. Poe divulges into the process of the character, proving the madness of the character. Irving, a writer in the time of romanticism focuses on the dark side of human nature that is prone to greed and sin. Washington Irving’s “The Devil and Tom Walker” proves that humans are prone to take the shortcuts in life which leads to sin. Irving gives the readers a glimpse of who Tom Walker is, unfortunately, he is an individual who is likely to take shortcuts. The narrator reads, “he considered a shortcut homeward, through the swamp. Like most shortcuts, it was an ill chosen route”(Irving, “The Devil and Tom Walker”133). In this quote Tom is so lazy to take the long route home, he literally takes a shortcut which leads him to the devil. Further showing the extent of Tom’s will take shortcuts in life, Irving shows the prime example and that is accepting the deal with the devil. As the narrator notes, “So they shook hands and struck a bargain”(Irving, “The Devil and Tom Walker”133). Tom took the ultimate shortcut to success and that was making a deal with the devil himself, which of course leads to Tom’s dark end. Ultimately, the dark part of human nature is revealed through the acts of individuals who choose actions which ultimately guides that person to sin. Humans pushed to the limit are likely to choose the path of self-destruction and sin, The Dark Romantics express this concept through their writings. Human nature, like everything else, has a dark side. Through the dark part of human nature, people tend to fall victim to sin. Whether that temptation is through succeeding the easy way, certain circumstances, or even simply greed, humans are known to self-destruct. Can human beings ever steer away from the path of sin?

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