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A Deeper Look At Poe Essay

1507 words - 7 pages

“Once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary”: one of the most famous, well-known lines of poetry. But why are readers so drawn in by this line? And who is the man behind the creation of this piece of art? Edgar Allan Poe. Poe’s literary works have been worldly recognized for their ability to draw in the reader and invoke dark emotions within each reader. Edgar Allan Poe himself experienced many hardships throughout his life, including the deaths of his wife and mother. Poe struggled with alcoholism, depression, and drug addiction, which all added to his ability to connect with readers from any point on the spectrum of hardships. Poe’s experiences helped him and his works ...view middle of the document...

Edgar lost his mother Elizabeth Poe, his brother Henry, his step mother Frances Allan, and his beloved wife Virginia all to tuberculosis. In many works, such as The Fall of the House of Usher and Annabel Lee, Poe writes about the death of a beautiful women, reflecting the loss of his wife Virginia and his step mother Frances Allan (Fervers 32). The pain experienced by those surrounded by death is one that cannot be matched.
Another common theme throughout his works is red: the color of blood and the color of love, two very significant parts of his own life. For example, tuberculosis was a very graphic, bloody disease that treaded all over Edgar Allan Poe’s life. Poe takes his own experiences and integrates them into his works by incorporating blood and the color red into the short story The Masque of the Red Death. In this short story, Poe creates a character named Red Death who travels around the countryside killing off everyone to represent tuberculosis, the disease that slayed nearly all his loved ones. By 1847 and the age of thirty-eight, Poe had lost everyone close to him in his life, and his ability to write was the only thing he had left.
As previously stated, Poe’s “The Raven” caught the attention of many readers, and it stands today as one of his greatest accomplishments. This poem appeals to many readers because the plot of the story is easy for readers to relate to. Thomas Olive Mabbot, author of The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, elaborates on this idea by saying that “the subject is of universal appeal, for every mature person has lost someone beloved, and even for the firm believer in immortality death is a separation from the living” (Mabbot 4). “The Raven” ventures to describe the madness and despair brought about by the loss of a loved one. Poe describes the raven itself as “never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting on the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door” (Poe). In this line, Poe is comparing the raven to the constant reminder of his loved one’s death. The bird constantly is sitting in view above his door: a place that is always in perfect view, but out of reach.
Edgar’s poem “The Raven” also captures many readers’ attention because of its fluency, produced by the use of repetition, assonance, and rhyme pattern. The repetition of “Nevermore” and rhyming with “-more” all throughout the poem creates a constant, comfortable feeling for each reader. Some critics may disapprove of Poe’s use of rhyme, calling it “childish” and “juvenile” (Scott), but this is not necessarily true. Although Poe does use rhyming, a device commonly associated with children’s poetry, he utilizes his rhyme pattern to construct a repeating structure and an interesting format; his poem tells a story, opposed to a meaningless blend of words.
Along with “The Raven”, in his poem “Annabel Lee”, which was discussed briefly previously, Poe explores the sadness and feelings of despair that accompanies the death of beautiful women and...

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