Raven San Juan
11 H English period 4
17 March 2014
Edgar Allan Poe: Rough Draft
"Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'" These are the words of the famous Edgar Allan Poe who considered today one of America's most influential writers and poets. Some call him the Father of the American detective story, genius of horror tale, and “the first who articulated the theory of the modern short story as well as the idea of pure poetry” ("The Big Read."). He was born January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts ("Edgar Allan Poe - Biography."), the time when literature was booming with Romanticism. His chilling tales of death, insanity, and darkness caused Americans to see a different side of the Romantic genre in literature of that time. Poe had never known his real parents because two years after his father David left, his mother Elizabeth died of tuberculosis when Poe was two (Silverman); he was then taken into the Allan family, where he adopted the name "Edgar Allan Poe" (Silverman).
As he grew older, he began to know more death and more sorrow which inspired him to write his popular dark stories. The separation from his family at a very young age, his struggle as an alcoholic to make a living, and the traumatic experience of watching so many of his loved ones pass before his eyes stimulated his recurring themes of the insanity one attains from losing a loved one and the gothic approaches to the subjects of death and the afterlife.
TP: Themes of madness produced from Isolation and Desolation combined with shades of sadness are reflections of Poe's own life experiences, for example, his abusive relationship with his foster father John Allan. Since the beginning of their journey together, Allan and Poe never quite connected or shared some kind of relationship together. To Poe, Allan was just his financial help, that is, until Allan began gambling and lost everything he had (Wilson). Because of this Poe was forced to drop out of his University (Silverman). In order to find new meaning to his life, Poe joined the army, but then eventually dropped out when he heard of Allan's new love interest. CD: After Allan remarried, he sent a letter declaring that he desired "no further communication" with Edgar ultimately shutting him out (Silverman). CD: The silence between the father and son continued for years until Poe received notice that Allan had passed away (Silverman).
CM: In Poe's "Maelstrom", he denotes an aspect of desolation, as the main character remembers his most bitter and saddest moments as he sinks down a maelstrom, to his imminent death representing the fate of people who have never loved nor have felt loved (“Maelstrom”). By definition, a maelstrom is either "a large, powerful, or violent whirlpool" or "a restless, disordered, or tumultuous state of affairs". This emptiness and disorder described in the poem was most likely influenced by the cold relationship between Allan and Poe. Although his relationship with his father was distant, Poe still...