Edgar Allan Poe Essay

1535 words - 6 pages

Edgar Allan Poe was arguably one of the best writers in his day. He was definitely one of the best writers that ever used the gothic style. He was also one of the first writers to popularize this absurd or even horrifying writing style. This style developed from his hardship-filled life. These hardships came in various forms, but mainly came in the form of death and he just had a hard life in general. These tragic and unfortunate experiences were often reflected in both his poems and his short stories.Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 19, 1809. His parents were David and Eliza Poe, who both happened to be in a local acting company that was currently performing at the Federal Street Theatre (Woodberry 1). With his father having disappeared while on business in New York, his mother was left to raise him on her own. It was not meant to be though, because she died tragically on the eighth of December in 1811, leaving behind three young children: William, Edgar, and Rosalie (Woodberry 15). The confused Edgar was now orphaned and became the ward of the well-off Richmond family, the Allans (Alexander 102). Mr. John Allan was the co-owner of the merchandising firm, The House of Ellis and Allan. Poe's first real education came when his father moved to London in order to try and develop his business there. Poe was then sent to both the Chelsea and the Stoke Newington boarding schools in the suburbs of London (Carnes 608). Although he was a brilliant student, excelling especially in mathematics, he did not enjoy his days spent there. In July of 1820 Mr. Allan's business collapsed, and they were forced to return to Richmond in order to avoid the creditors that Allan was indebted to (Woodberry 23). In 1825 Poe enrolled at the University of Virginia (Woodberry 30). Before he had left for college, he met a young girl named Elmira Royster. They became engaged, but her father disapproved of the relationship. Whenever Poe would send her letters from college her father would intercept them and they therefore lost touch with each other. Because of this misunderstanding nothing ever came of the relationship (Carnes 608). While in college Poe became addicted to both gambling and alcohol and because of this college experience did not go much better than his life in boarding schools. Since he had little money to begin with, and because he either spent the little bit he had on either alcohol or lost it gambling, he soon became overwhelmed in debt (Woodberry 33-34). John Allan agreed to pay his debts to the school, but refused to pay the debts that had been accumulated from buying alcohol and gambling (Carnes 608). Poe's brother, William, often came to visit him while at the University. John Allan partially attributed Edgar's wild and adventurous spirit to these visits from William (Woodberry 31). Poe was soon forced to leave the university after being threatened with jail time for his debts. Afterwards he returned to...

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