Edgar Allen Poe Essay

Submitted By ticantu11
Words: 1571
Pages: 7

“Edgar Allan Poe was a sick individual wasn’t he? I’ve heard from others that he married his cousin when she was at the age of 13 or something like that; he seemed to be depressed and haunted in his writings.”
Those words have stuck to me like glue ever since I heard them come out of the mouth of a fellow colleague; she had came over for dinner and noticed my Poe books scattered on the table. I realized that she hadn’t done any research on Poe to understand her question, more less his writings, and I hadn’t done any research well enough to respond with a reason as to why he wrote in the style that he wrote and what was the background cause of Poe’s “depressed and haunted” writings. As I began my research on Poe I found something that quickly captured my attention written in Norton Anthology of American Literature it states: “ Determining the facts has proved difficult, since lurid legend became entwined with fact even before he died. Some legends were spread by Poe himself. Given to claiming that he was born in 1811 or 1813 and has written poems far earlier than he had, Poe also exaggerated the length of his attendance at the University of Virginia and, in imitation of Lord Bryron, fabricated a “quixotic expedition to join the Greeks, then struggling for liberty.” (Baym, introduction)
With this being brought up it seemed that Poe wasn’t satisfied with particular parts of his life, he was so unpleased with himself or upbringings that he had to create a lie to fulfill a personal satisfaction but, from what seemed as valid information that I gathered it made sense as to why Poe may have had to spread lies about himself and why he wrote in the style that he did, how the events that had occurred in his life had been expressed into his writings as well as the pain he felt from these events being evident in his works, we begin with some background information to get a better understanding of Poe and his writings.
Edgar Allan Poe was clearly no stranger to devastating events, it seems as if he'd been through anything tragic you could possibly think of. After turning a year old Poe had already experienced his father David Poe abandoning the family mainly because he was an alcoholic and had been negatively criticized for his acting career. Another part of the reason may have been some emotion of jealousy towards his wife Elizabeth Poe’s acting career for hers was positively acknowledged. A year after his father David's abandonment, Poe's mother Elizabeth began to cough up blood and became more fatigued with each performance revealing symptoms that she was ill, eventually her condition deteriorated and she ended up passing away from what was assumed to have been tuberculosis, she left Poe and his two siblings Henry and Rosalie behind. Poe was taken in after his mother's death by Mr. and Mrs. John Allan but, was separated from his two siblings. John Allan made a good living working as a tobacco exporter and had no children with Mrs. Allan making one assume that Poe would have a second chance for a better life but, that assumption is wrong. John Allan had made it a point to never legally adopt Poe.

At the age of 6 Poe began attending school in London where he would remain for five years, continued by the remaining years in America, within some period of this time Poe had changed his own name from “Master Allen” back to “Master Poe” after Mr. Allen disapproved of “Master Allen” (which must of left Poe feeling neglected and confused, for this was coming from the man who had taken him in and provided the only father figure he knew). He continued his education attending the University of Virginia at the age of 17 focusing on English and writing but soon dropped out due to financial reasons. Although Mr. Allan was wealthy he only provided Poe with a meager portion of funds due to the loathe created towards Poe soon after he had taken him in (with Mrs. Allan having no children her focus immediately shifted from Mr. Allan to Poe