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The Characteristics Of Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe is a well known American poet and writer. He was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts but was raised as a foster child in Richmond, Virginia by John and Frances Allan. His first collection of poems were published in 1827, the same year he moved to Boston and enlisted in the United States Army. He was influenced by the Romantic literary era at the time but much of his work is considered as the gothic genre, combining fiction, horror and romance. Many credit him as the architect of the modern short story and with his focus on the dark side of human nature, he is also known as the inventor of both the detective story and the horror genre. This work The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket was published…show more content…
The narrator describes near death experiences due to hunger and dehydration, the power of mother nature and how the sea destroyed their ship. Survival instincts forced the crew to resort to cannibalism for their survival before they finally landed on a tropical island where they were met by natives who were intimidated by the white skinned strangers. The meeting of the civilized sailors and the uncivilized natives described very different people who did not trust each other. When the natives killed most of the sailors, Poe illustrates the similarity and primitive side of all people as they kill for their own protection and survival. Pym managed to escape the island together with Peters and the novel ends as they near the South Pole, leaving the conclusion to the imagination of the reader.
Edgar Allan Poe portrayed various themes throughout the novel. However, the main theme that stood out was that of survival. Arthur Gordon Pym describes in his writings how he managed to stay alive on board the Grampus after the mutiny that occurred and after the massive storm that nearly destroyed the ship, tearing the sails, breaking the mast, and flooding the hold. All four men managed to survive by lashing themselves to the hull. However, they get injured and bereft of food and water, going days and nights suffering from thirst and starvation wavering between hope and despair. They endure horrendous sights, such as a Dutch ship manned only by dead, rotting corpses, and the
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