Gloria C. Erlich in “The Divided Artist and His Uncles” states that “Robert Manning made the essential decisions in the lives of the Hawthorne children and is well known as the uncle who sent Hawthorne to college” (35). After graduation from Bowdoin College Hawthorne spent twelve years in his room at home in an intense effort to make something of himself literarily. The Norton Anthology: American Literature states: Hawthorne’s years between 1825 and 1837 have fascinated his biographers and critics. Hawthorne himself took pains to propagate the notion that he had lived as a hermit who left his upstairs room only for nighttime walks and hardly communicated even with his mother and sisters (547). Sculley Bradley, Richmond Croom Beatty and E. Hudson Long in “The Social Criticism of a Public Man” consider his poverty a determining influence in his life: “…a young man engrossed in historical study and in learning the writer’s craft is not notably queer if he does not seek society or marriage, especially if he is poor” (47-48).
When Poe was 2 years old his mother died (Edgar Allan Poe). So Poe witnessed death at a very young age. After his mother died Poe was taken in by his godfather, John Allan, with his childless wife. Soon after he was taken to Scotland and England (1815-1820) where he learned classical education, this was continued in Richmond Virginia. For 11 months Poe attended the University of Virginia in 1826 but his gambling losses were so big that John Allan refused to let him stay.
When he was nine, a severe foot injury reduced his physical activity for almost two years and excluded him from many activities with other children. Soon after the recovery, his family moved to an isolated area in Raymond, Maine. It is here that he picked up his first "accursed habits of solitude" (Martin 3). On his relationship with his mother, Hawthorne said: I loved my mother, but there has been , ever since my boyhood, a sort of coldness of intercourse between us, such is apt to come between persons of strong feelings, if they are not managed rightly (Martin 11). Hawthorne never had a strong, healthy family life.
Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury, had become incapacitated with old age, and Ruth King was persuaded by her sisters to take over the physical care of the elderly couple. Other family members provided a small house in Durham and financial support. After Stephen's grandparents passed away, Mrs. King found work in the kitchens of Pineland, a nearby residential facility for the mentally challenged. Stephen attended the grammar school in Durham and then Lisbon Falls High School, graduating in 1966. From his sophomore year at the University of Maine at Orono, he wrote a weekly column for the school newspaper, THE MAINE CAMPUS.
Hawthorne spent much time writing The Scarlet Letter partly based on what he observed from his job at the Boston Custom’s House (Morey). Once Hawthorne married Sophia Peabody, they moved to Concord, Maine where Hawthorne befriended the Transcendentalists, writers including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and Amos Bronson Alcott (Morey). He had three children with Sophia: Una, Julian and Rose. The President of the United States, Franklin Pierce, named Hawthorne as Consul to Liverpool, England where he served for four years. During the Civil War, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s good friend Thoreau died which caused Hawthorne to loss his will to write and live (Diorio).
His father, a heavy drinker, abandoned the family when Poe was a year old, and at two years of age, Poe witnessed his mother’s death of tuberculosis. He was haunted by his mother’s death; it was a topic that he often explored in his writings later in life. Poe was then separated from his two sibling and taken in by the Allans, from whom he took his second name, in Richmond, Virginia. Although, Poe had a good relationship with his foster mother, he had a turbulent relationship with his foster father, with whom he often argued (Giammarco, 2012). As a child, Poe attended school in England for five years, and he later returned to America to continue his schooling.
The poem “Alone” by Edgar Allan Poe depicts the personal life and challenges Poe faced as a child. For example, the poem begins with Poe explaining how he knew he was different from other children, this is apparent when Poe writes, “From childhood's hour I have not been/ As others were-- I have not seen” (Poe ll. 1-2). Poe further goes on to explain how he felt abandoned and apart from his peers, stating “And all I lov'd-- I lov'd alone” (Poe 8). I believe this explains how Poe felt alone after his parents died, as if no one else understood what he was going through.
Edwin Arlington Robinson was born in Head Tide, Maine, on Dec. 22, 1869. He grew up in nearby Gardiner, which became the basis for the Tilbury Town of his poems. Some historians say that for many months after his birth his parents called him "the baby" because his parents had not wanted to have a boy. The name Edwin was pulled from a hat by a stranger at the local tavern who happened to live in Arlington, Massachusetts. Robinson hated his name, for it signified to him that he was unwanted by his parents and unimportant to them as well.
Hawthorne found the legacy left by his grandfather and father despicable and changed his name in an effort to distance himself from the name infamous in Salem’s tragic early history (Faculty of European Graduate School). Only four years after Hawthorne’s birth, his father contracted and died of yellow fever. After the loss of the family patriarch, the remaining family moved in with Elizabeth’s brothers. Nathaniel Hawthorne began his attendance at Worcester’s School before being seriously injured. The details surrounding this injury were never chronicled, but it appears that it was during this time Hawthorne acquired his love of reading.
Poe's life started tragically, when his father deserted his family and his mother died of tuberculosis (Bloom 1999). The death of his mother could have influenced some of his darker themes in his poems about death .He lived his childhood with a foster family who paid for his education (Bloom 1999). He went to a University for a while until he got into trouble. He had a gambling issue that latter put him into great debt; his foster father refused to pay for (Bloom 1999). Poe put his soul into writing and he used his personal experiences through out life.