The Influences Of Edgar Allan Poe

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The Influences of Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe is one of America's most influential writers. His stories and poems have touched the lives of countless people. His works, however, are influenced by his own life. The events of his life led him down the dark road of depression and morbidity.
Poe's emotional health began deteriorating when he was very young. His mother died of tuberculosis while he was still a very small child. Poe never forget her vomiting blood and being carried away by sinister men dressed in black (Unger 409). Although Poe was never formally adopted, John and Frances Allan took Poe in (Vinson 970) The couple sent him to boarding schools where he excelled in both academics and athletics. This time of bliss was short lived, however. Poe began to feel more and more insecure and estranged from his school mates because of his lowly origin. Poe also began to be more antagonistic towards Mr. Allan due to his love for his foster mother—an almost oedipal relationship—and the fact that Mr. Allan was a very harsh dictator. After his lonely years in grade school, he was sent to the University of Virginia in 1826. He studied French, Spanish, Italian, and Latin, and maintained an excellent scholastic record. Poe ran into trouble when Allan did not send enough money to pay for fees
and other necessities. He took to drinking and gambling, accumulating debts in excess of $2,000. Needless to say, he dropped out of college only to enlist in the army as a common solider under the name of Edgar A. Perry. He was stationed for a year on Sullivans Island in Charleston Harbor. Surprisingly, Poe adapted well to military discipline and quickly rose to the rank of regimental sergeant major, the highest non commissioned grade in the Army. While stationed on Sullivan's Island, Poe published his first book Tamerlane and Other Poems in the summer of 1827. His book was not well received in the literary world. It gained little to no recognition, and what criticism he did receive was negative. Poe became tired of military life, and, with Allan's help, was discharged from the army and sent to West Point Academy in1830. At West Point, Poe again found himself with inadequate funds. Poe had originally been a very good student, but after a letter to Allan, Poe decided to have himself expelled. In January of 1831, Poe was court-martialed for "gross neglect of duties" (Unger 411). After trying a wide variety of schemes to support himself, he moved in with aunt in Baltimore. Since Poe had not gained status by writing poetry, he turned to short story writing (Regan N.P.) In 1836, Poe married his younger cousin, Virginia Clemm. This period was an intense production of stories for Poe. He wrote many stories and reviews as well as a drama in verse. In 1840, Poe published Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, which was received very well by critics but sold rather slow. "The Raven" was published in 1845 and...

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