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The Life, The Death, The Mystery Of Edgar Allan Poe

1346 words - 5 pages

In the world of writing, Edgar Allan Poe has been remembered by many historians to be one of the first American writers to have a lasting impact on world literature. He was remembered by the French Symbolists at the time as a “Literary Precursor”, and is known for his dark and mysterious poems. However, one of the great mysteries that still lies within Edgar Allan Poe's life is his death, as nobody knows how he really died. Struggling through lifelong depression, Edgar Allan Poe died in 1849, but prior to his passing, laid the groundwork for a new genre of writing (“Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore”; “Edgar Allan Poe”).
While many historians agree that Poe's death was intriguing, many agree that Poe's life was as well (Thomas; Pullman 7; “Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore”). Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts. However his parents died before he was 3, resulting in Poe being adopted by the Allans who lived in Richmond, Virginia. The Allans sent Poe to boarding schools and attempted to make his life as comfortable as possible. Poe excelled in his studies and before much later, was accepted into the University of Virginia ("A Short Biography") . However, Poe soon became an alcoholic, and started to gamble his money away, forcing him to ask his father for financial help at which his father refused because he would only pay tuition for a scholar, not a gambler. Poe eventually had to drop out of the university. Poe then decided to join the army and he was admitted into the United States Military Academy in 1827, where again, he could not pay for the tuition and dropped out (“Edgar Allan Poe”). Poe went to live with his cousin, Virginia, who he soon married in 1836, but he still lived a meager life and, to some historians, Virginia was the reason that he still clung to life (“Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore”; Thomas). When Virginia died of tuberculosis in 1847, Poe fell back into alcoholism and depression. 2 years later, Edgar Allan Poe was found on a street and was quickly taken to a hospital. He died in the hospital shortly thereafter (“Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore”).
Many sources hypothesize that Edgar Allan Poe's depression and alcoholism was linked to his death(“Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore”; Thomas). Philip Pullman claims that:
But like many other writers, he found himself returning to the same ideas over and over again, as if his imagination was drawn to them like a moth to a flame. One of Poe's obsessive themes was the death of a beautiful and beloved young woman. We find this in many of his stories, as well as in a number of poems here, not least “The Raven” itself. Look at “Annabel Lee”; look at my own favorite, the truly strange and unforgettable “Ulalume”. (7)
Which leads many to believe that one of the main causes of Poe's depression was the death of his wife, Virginia (“Edgar Allan Poe”; “Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore”). Edgar Allan Poe was also ignored by his...

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