Essay Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe

"The boundaries which divide Life and Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where one ends, and where the other begins?" Edgar Allan Poe, The Premature Burial (Bartlett, 642). To venture into the world of Edgar Allan Poe is to embark on a journey to a land filled with perversities of the mind, soul, and body. The joyless existence carved out by his writings is one of lost love, mental anguish, and the premature withering of his subjects. Poe wrote in a style that characterized the sufferings he endured throughout in his pitiful life. From the death of his parents while he was still a child, to the repeated frailty of his love life, to the neuroses of his later years, his life was a ceaseless continuum of
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He never fit in with his classmates, but he fell in love with the young mother of one of his friends, Mrs. Jane Stanard, the memory of whom inspired his poem, "To Helen." When this relationship proved to be implausible, he turned to someone his own age, Sarah Elmira Royster (Asselineau, 410). This relationship too was doomed, as her parents did not approve of his lack of social standing.

The tale of his scholastic tenure is one of repeated expulsions, gambling debts, and, eventualy, drinking. This is not to say that Poe was a poor student. The exact opposite is the case. Poe was almost always near the top of his class no matter what institution he was currently enrolled in. His problem was that he either became bored or allowed debts from both drinking and gambling to pile up until he was forced to pay or leave. He repeatedly made attempts to coerce his foster father into honoring his debts with no success. The end result was that Poe never got settled into one specific institution, with but one exception, the military.

There was only one thing (other than writing) at which Poe seemed to excel while he was of school age. In 1827 he enlisted in the army at Boston under the pseudonym of Edgar A. Perry. He was stationed at Sullivan's Island in Charleston Harbor, which he would describe as the setting of his story "The Gold Bug." He rose in rank rather quickly for a man of his age and experience, attaining the rank of regimental sergeant major,

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