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The Influence of Edgar Allan Poe's Life on His Morbid Writings

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Edgar Allan Poe is the most morbid of all American authors. Poe made his impact in Gothic fiction, especially for the tales of the macabre of which he is so renowned for. “How can so strange & so fine a genius & so sad a life, be exprest [sic] & comprest in on line — would it not be best to say of Poe in a reverential spirit simply Requiescat in Pace [?]” — (Alfred Lord Tennyson’s reply to the Poe Memorial committee, February 18, 1876). Poe’s own life story sheds light on the darkness of his writings. Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 19, 1809 to David Poe and Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins - both of whom died before their son was three. Edgar went to live in Richmond, Virginia with John Allan, a wealthy tradesman, while his…show more content…
“Mr. Poe could not possibly send forth a book without some marks of his genius, and mixed up with the dross we find much sterling ore.” — (From a review of Poe’s Tales, September 6, 1845.) In 1845, Poe, 27, and Virginia, 13, married, and were happy for a time. In 1842, Virginia ruptured a blood vessel; the first sign of the ill health that plagued her short life. Poe turned to alcohol to cope with her illness and the stress of his dying wife. Two years later, Virginia died of tuberculosis, and Poe’s own death would follow shortly two years after that. The Raven, published in 1845, brought Poe temporary popular and critical acclaim. The Raven was a personal challenge Edgar imposed upon himself. Poe originally wanted to use a parrot instead of a raven, but he felt it didn’t evoke the right tone. He also wanted to write a 100 line poem, but ended up with 108 lines, which was good enough for Poe. The one and only novel Poe completed, Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, was about these crew members drawing straws for who would be eaten after their boat capsized; they drew straws, and ate Richard Parker. The book flopped. Even though Poe said it was a true story, almost all the critics didn’t believe him. They were right to since at the time Poe’s book wasn’t true, but just five years later a similar wreck happened with the same lead character name Richard Parker, though there was no cannibalism. But
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