"The Masque of the Red Death": Lasting Effects Left on the Reader

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Edgar Allen Poe is certainly one of the darkest authors of which American Literature can lay claim. He is also one of the most interesting to read because he explores areas of the human condition that many authors either will not or can not explore.

The very mention of his name will conjure in many literature fans minds images of murder, madmen, women who return from the dead, and horrifying events such as premature burials (Poe's...). What was it that gave Mr. Poe the ability to conjure such dark thoughts and furthermore be able to put them to paper? What was his history?

Edgar Allen Poe was born in Boston on January 19, 1809 to a pair of traveling actors. The second of three children, he was not the only gifted writer in the family. His older brother William Henry Leonard Poe was also a poet of note prior to his untimely death, and his sister Rosalie Poe became a teacher at the Richmond girls' school, where she taught penmanship (Poe's...). To add to the oddity that is Mr. Poe's life, his parents both died within three years of his birth, leading him to be raised by a wealthy tobacco merchant by the name of John Allan and his wife Francis Valentine Allan. Unfortunately, this also marked when the family would be split up, as Mr. Poe's brother and sister were sent to live with a different family. Mr. Allan's intentions were to raise Mr. Poe as a businessman and to follow in his footsteps, however Mr. Poe had aspirations of being a writer from a very early age, and as the handwriting on the back of the various ledges of the Allan family business would show, Mr. Poe had very little if any interest in the tobacco business (Poe's...). By the time Mr. Poe had reached the age of thirteen, he had complied enough collected works to...

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Web 10 April 2011.

Kunjundzic, Dragan. "The Ghost of Representation, or the Masque of Red Death." Art Journal 49.1 (1990): 52-58. Academic Search Complete.

Web. 10 April 2011

"Poe's Life | Edgar Allan Poe Museum." Edgar Allan Poe Museum : Poe's Life, Legacy, and Works : Richmond, Virginia. Web. 9 Apr. 2011. .

Slick, Richard D. "Poe's The Masque of the Red Death." Explicator 47.2 (1989): 23-29. Academic Search Complete.

Web 5 April, 2011

Vora, Setu K., and Sundaram V. Ramanan. "Ebola-Poe: A Modern-Day Parallel of the Red Death?" Emerging Infectious Diseases 8.12 (2002): 1521-524. Academic Search Complete.

Web. 13 April, 2011

Wheat, Patricia H. "The Mask of Indifference in 'The Masque of the Red Death'" Studies in Short Fiction 19.1 (1982): 51-57. Academic Search Complete.

Web. 11 April, 2011
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