The Life And Works Of Edgar Allan Poe

2089 words - 8 pages

Throughout the life of Edgar Allan Poe, he suffered many unfortunate events and endured several difficult situations. Some speculate that it was these experiences that helped to formulate the famous writing style of Edgar Allan Poe. His dark tales such as "The Masque of the Red Death" and "The Tell-Tale Heart" are horrific, and his poems such as "Alone" and "The Raven" show evidence that his life experiences influenced their dreariness. Poe's story plots and his own life are undeniably related and this relationship is intricately defined in many of his works.

Poe lived in poverty all of his life, never seeing enough money from his writings to allow him to live comfortably, and never seeing his writing arrive at the famed status that it has today. Poe drank heavily throughout his life due to all of the downfalls he suffered. In between these drinking binges Poe had spurts of creativity, this is when he wrote his best material (E. A. Poe Society of Baltimore Inc. "Poe, Drugs and Alcohol" 1). Poe's sad and troubled life gave him the material he needed to create stories and poems that would capture his audience. Though Poe lived a hard life and was criticized by many for being evil and demonic, his stories and poems are still with us today as some of the greatest American literature ever published. Edgar Allan Poe's life experiences including the untimely death of his parents, his use of drugs and alcohol, the many other deaths in his life, and his unhealthy relationships with women influenced his tales and poems now famed for being dark and horrific in tone.

Edgar Allan Poe faced his first of many hardships at the young age of 3. Poe was born in 1809 into an impoverished family, son of aspiring actor and actress David and Eliza Poe (Kennedy, Gioia 233). When Edgar was still a toddler, both of his parents died at about the same time. Though he was not close with his father, he was very attached to his mother who died presumably of some illness such as pneumonia or tuberculosis. After the loss of both of his parents, Edgar and his brother and sister were split up into separate foster homes. Edgar's foster father, Johnny Allan gave Edgar the middle name Allan, and not much more. This is one of many times in Edgar's life when he felt truly alone. As he grew up his foster parents sent him to private schools, moved him to England and to Baltimore, and eventually sent him to the University of Virginia. It was around this time that Edgar finally separated himself from his foster father who meant so little to him. When Edgar was at school he became actively involved in drinking, drugs and gambling. His foster father refused to help him pay his debts, so Edgar left his foster parents and went to find his family ( E. A. Poe Society of Baltimore Inc. "Poe Chronology" 1-4). Edgar's poem, "Alone", expresses his feelings of complete loneliness at this time in his life. The poem starts off, "From childhood's hour I have not been as others were- . . .."...

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