“Reflections On, and In ‘The Fall of the House of Usher.’” Edgar Allan Poe: The Design of Order. Ed. A Robert Lee. New Jersey: Barnes & Noble Books, 1987. 17-65.
The Conclusion of His Life A. His Marriage B. His Death IV. His Works V. What Others Thought Of Him Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer, known as a poet and critic but most famous as the first master of the short story form, especially tales of the mysterious and macabre. Since his early death, the literary qualities of Poe's writings have been disputed, but his works have remained popular and he influenced many major American and European writers.
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.
He became very attached to his stepmother and then she passed away of tuberculosis. As a youth, Poe attended the finest academies in Richmond, his stepfather overseeing his education. He entered the University of Virginia at Charlottesville in 1825. He distinguished himself academically at the University but was forced to leave due to inadequate financial support from his stepfather. Poe returned to Richmond in 1827 but soon left for Boston.
The then moved back to the states, and Edgar enrolled at the University of Virginia in 1826. When he was there, he spent much of his money, and soon found himself in debt. He asked Mr. Allan to pay for it, but he refused, because he assumed that the debt was due to Poe’s constant gambling and consumption of alcohol (Silverman 29-38). It can be assumed that the greatest contributor to Poe’s disturbance was his addiction to alcohol. His foster family’s status made this problem a shameful vise, and a source of conflict.
A Redeemed Childhood Edgar Allan Poe was born in 1809 in Baltimore, Maryland to two young actors named Eliza Arnold Hopkins and David Poe. When Poe was nearly three years old, his mother died from tuberculosis. This had a profound effect on the young Poe, who "always remembered -more or less unconsciously - his mother vomiting blood and being carried away from him forever by sinister men in black," according to Roger Asselineau, professor of American literature at the Sorbonne, Paris. Within a number of days, David Poe, who was known to be an alcoholic, disappeared. Although he was never found, it is assumed that he ran off rather than died.
Edgar Allan Poe is undoubtedly one of American Literature's legendary and prolific writers, and it is normal to say that his works touched on many aspects of the human psyche and personality. While he was no psychologist, he wrote about things that could evoke the reasons behind every person's character, whether flawed or not. Some would say his works are of the horror genre, succeeding in frightening his audience into trying to finish reading the book in one sitting, but making them think beyond the story and analyze it through imagery. The "Fall of the House of Usher" is one such tale that uses such frightening imagery that one can only sigh in relief that it is just a work of fiction. However, based on the biography of Poe, events that surrounded his life while he was working on his tales were enough to show the emotions he undoubtedly was experiencing during that time.
The truth for Poe was that life is harsh. Poe was abandoned at a very young age. His father had abandoned his family, and his mother had died by the age of three. From there, his life did not get better. A wealthy merchant family, the Allan?s, unofficially adopted him.
Edgar Allan Poe. A Critical Study New York: Haskell House, 1972. Ransome, Arthur, ed. "Stories by Edgar Allan Poe" New York: E. P. Dutton and Company, 1908. Silverman, Kenneth.
His mother, Elizabeth Arnold Poe, had been widowed at eighteen, and two years after his birth she died of tuberculosis at the age of twenty-four. Poe's paternal grandfather had been a wealthy man, but his father, David Poe, had left the family to become an actor, and Edgar was left with nothing. When his mother died, John Allan, a Richmond tobacco merchant, at the urging of his wife, Frances Allan, adopted Edgar. She was devoted to Edgar, and in his childhood he enjoyed a security that was never to be his again after he left home. In 1815 John Allan took the family to England in the hope of furthering his business.