Edgar Allen Poe: A Brief Look

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Edgar Allen Poe from birth January 19, 1809 and death October 7,1849 had made his mark on literary history. He was a genius who went through a very difficult life, which showed in his work. If his life had been perfect we wouldn't know him as being a great poet. He would just be another scholar. His parents were both actors.

Being actors they weren't well off only playing small roles in third-rate shows. He was one of three children although his older brother had been left to live with another family before Edgar knew him. He was living a normal childhood at the moment. This changed when Edgar was two; his mom had died of tuberculosis. Now him and his sister Rosalie were orphaned. It was not long till Mrs. Frances Allan coaxed her husband into taking in Edgar and raising him

The Allan's were very wealthy and very able to provide him with the right education he needed to become successful. Mentally Edgar had no one. John Allan never accepted him as a family member he was more of a charity case to him. So really Edgar had lacked any true sense of belonging and never felt loved. Anyway, he was sent to the University of Virginia.

This didn't turn out well being the atmosphere of campus was more social than academic. There are surviving letters from Edgar to John Allan describing the violence that is seen by Edgar between students. There is also a gambling problem at the campus. Edgar gambled so excessively that John took him out of school and wouldn't let him continue with his education. He then came home where he found his love engaged to another man. Again he left home; he went to Boston and published a pamphlet of poems. During his life he had a few relationships with different women.

Including a marriage to his 13-year-old cousin. When he had these relationships he would still pursue other women. They were supposedly platonic though. He was always more fond of poets. Even after he had been able to marry his true love he still continued to see other women.

Many had believed he was a drug addict but really he had a brain lesion. Due to this illness he had fevered dreams and intense nightmares. I believe that some of the more strange works that he wrote are also due to his brain lesion. Edgar's doom would be due to alcohol. He wasn't an alcoholic yet when he would drink he would make a scene.

This got him fired from his job as an editor and also killed him. Edgar had a very difficult and sorrowful life. It seems he would have been depressed a lot when learning about his life. His works reflected his feelings and the way he lived was the biggest factor in how he felt, therefore his works reflected his life. If you were to read his works you would know automatically that this person didn't live a normal life. You would know that Edgar had some strange thoughts in his head. In the short story by Edgar Allan Poe "The Black Cat" the author describes his love for pets. His wife had accepted this liking and formed a liking for them herself.

The thoughts that went through the narrator's head were that of an insane person. He had a black cat that he had become very fond of. One night he had been drinking and he had become violent (much like Edgar's problem with alcohol) and he had gouged out one of the cats' eyes. After this act the cat had not loved him like he used to. This wrecked the narrator's heart so he hung the cat as he cried. Soon later he saw a cat that looked just like him and was sweet like the old cat was.

The only difference in this cat was a little white fur on his chest. The narrator took home the cat and not too long after he decided he didn't really want the cat. His wife had become quite attached though. One day he and his wife went to the basement for some reason and the cat had followed. The cat had made him mad so he picked up an ax, and instead of hitting the cat his wife had grabbed his arm.

In fury he then slashed the ax into her head, murdering her. Obviously he then killed the cat. He buried the two in the wall of the basement. When the police came they weren't so suspicious until he gave himself away. He was to be hung for the treachery and he had been telling the story from the prison cell. His drinking and bad dreams must have contributed to this story.

You can tell that in this story the cat provided the love he had but once the cat had deceived him he killed him. He even mourned the death of the cat. It hadn't said anything about him mourning the death of his wife. This could be a direct reflection of how he was never really loved by a human. How he never really cared for anyone also might have provoked this story's lack of caring. In Edgar Allan Poe's poem " A Dream within a Dream" he describes how hope has flown away. This may reflect the time when he no longer was living off of John Allan and he had grown poor.

At this point in his life he had been kicked out of the military school and he is living on his own. His hope was no longer there. Then he is holding grains of sand that slowly slip threw his fingers no matter how hard he tries to hold onto them they keep draining out. This may be how he had tried to make up with John and get money from him. John had just refused to his pleas for help.

He wonders if everything is surreal, if everything is but a dream within a dream. Edgar Allan had written "Alone" a poem describing how he never really fit in, how he wasn't like others, and how what he enjoyed differed from everyone else. He wrote that he loved alone. This I believe is derived from how he never really had a family. He describes how life passes him by and he had a block (demon in my view) on view on life. He recognizes he's not like others and he knows he can never see life like a person that had a normal life.

Edgar Allan Poe was an amazing poet and author. Everything that happened to him has made him who he is. When you read his works you are reading what he is. He has lived an awful life yet he was able to do what he loved best and that is write. He lived the way he wanted to even though he was a very lonely person.

He may have had nightmares but those were all fantasies that intrigued him. Edgar Allan Poe is someone you can really look into. By reading his works he will fascinate you.

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