Edgar Allen Poe

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Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allen Poe was a great writer and made many contributions to the works of literature. He is known as the father of the American short story and also the father of the detective story. To understand Poe’s literary contributions, his early life, literacy life, and works must be examined. Each aspect of his life revolves around the other.

Edgar Allen Poe was born in Boston on January 19, 1809. He was born to a Southern family who belonged in a traveling company of actors. David Poe, his father, was from a Baltimore family, was an actor by profession, and heavily drank. Soon after Edgar’s birth, David Poe left his family. His mother, Elizabeth Arnold Poe, was also an actor and died of tuberculosis when Edgar was only two.

After being orphaned, he was adopted by John Allen by the urging of Mr. Allen’s wife. In 1815, John Allen moved his family to England and sent Edgar to private schools. After being transferred around many times, Edgar entered into the University Of Virginia in the spring of 1826. At the time of his entrance, Edgar was the youngest pupil in the University. While there, he studied Spanish, French, Italian, and Latin and maintained an excellent scholastic record.

Edgar also encountered many difficulties while attending the university. Mr. Allen did not provide Edgar with the money to pay for his fees and other necessities to put him the school. Confused and homesick, Edgar began playing cards, gambling, and drinking. He soon accumulated an excessive debt of two thousand dollars. Discovering he could not depend upon his foster father for financial support to pay off his debts, he withdrew from the University.

In May of 1827, Poe enlisted in the army as a common solider under the name of Edgar A. Perry. He was stationed on Sullivans’s Island in Charleston Harbor for over a year. Adapting very well to military discipline, he quickly rose to the rank of regimental sergeant major. After a while, he got tired of the same daily routine involved in military life. Keeping correspondence with John Allen by letters, he met with him after the death of Mrs. Allen in February 1829. With Mr. Allen’s support, he received his discharge and enlisted in West Point on July 1, 1830.

While at West Point, Mr. Allen, who had remarried, continued to not provide Poe with enough money. Being rebellious...

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... death. His viewpoint on this could greatly be due to the death of his mother and his feeling of misery. Since he never fully felt accepted by his foster father, he could have blamed death for that misery in his life.

Another work is a poem entitled “Alone”. This poem directly points out Edgar’s thoughts on his life. He describes his feeling with phrases such as “And all I loved, I loved alone” and “From childhood’s hour I have not been, As Others where; I have not seen”. In this poem he describes his loneliness and his feelings of being alone. He explains how all his life he has felt different and known that he was not the same as others. He tells of how his view has been obscured by his life and portrays the hopelessness that he deals with.

Instead of really living out his life, Poe took refuge from the physical world in the private world of his dreams. He lived in the world of his tales. All of Edgar’s life he felt out of place and not in touch with people. By sharing and portraying his feeling in writings, he compiled many great literary works. Those writings will remain popular for many years to come due to the mystery that Poe incorporated in each of his works.
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