The Work and Life of Edgar Allan Poe

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A bit of Edgar Allan Poe's life had been molded into each piece of his work. This provided his readers and critics with a better understanding of Poe's life. Poe displayed his greatest life's achievements and his worst disappointments in a series of stories and poems created throughout his whole life. It is the goal of this research paper to reveal symbolic facts about Poe?s life and define these hidden parallels in some of his most famous works.

Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts (Encyclopedia Britannica 540). Poe?s parents were David Poe, an actor from Baltimore and Elizabeth Arnold Poe, an actress born in England, who had relocated to Baltimore. At birth, Poe had been cursed. Shortly afterwards, Poe?s father abandoned the family and left Poe and his mother to fend for themselves. Not long after that, the cruel hands of fate worked their horrible touch on Poe again by taking his mother. In 1811, when Poe was two, his mother passed away, leaving him with a great loss. After his father?s departure and mother?s sudden death, Poe was left in the hands of his godfather, John Allan. John Allan was a wealthy merchant based in Richmond, Virginia with the means, knowledge and money to provide a good life for Poe.

In 1815, Poe and his new family moved to England to provide him a classical education. Upon returning from England in 1826, Poe enrolled at the University of Virginia. This was a magnificent achievement for him, because Poe was only seventeen at the time while the normal age for attendance was nineteen (Quinn 130). For the first time, life was going good for Poe. His future looked to be a path paved with gold. When Poe entered college, his path of gold ended quickly. It was only another path of grief and disappointment. Poe soon began to gamble and drink alcohol quite heavily. He developed gambling debts from 2,000 to 2,500 dollars, which caused problems between his godfather and himself (Quinn 130). After eleven months at the university, Poe dropped out mainly because of his debts and drinking, but also for John Allan?s refusal to pay for his habits (Encyclopedia Britannica 540).

Soon after Poe dropped out of school, he and John Allan had many quarrels over his gambling addiction. They finally decided it would be best for him to join the army. He joined under the alias of ?Edgar Allan Perry? (Encyclo...

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...rks of Edgar Allan Poe, he is actually reading his autobiography with eccentric details to describe his life. Although he lived a short and tragic life, Edgar Allan Poe remains today one of the most beloved mystery writers of all time. His contributions to literature and the mystery genre cannot be matched.


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Buranelli, Vincent. Edgar Allan Poe. Boston: Twayne, 1977: 12-53. ?Edgar Allan Poe, The Dark Genius of the Short Story.? OnlineAvailableHttp://

Partridge, Toby. ?Poetry by Edgar Allan Poe.? Online Available Http:// 8953/poe.html.

?Poe, Edgar Allan.? Encarta Encyclopedia. 2000 ed. ?Poe,Edgar Allan,? Encyclopedia Britannica. 1995 ed., Vol. 9: 540-542.

Poe, Edgar Allan. ?Fall of the House of Usher.? Literature: The American Experience. Needham: Prentice Hall, 1996. 194-206.

?Poe, Edgar Allan,? World Book Encyclopedia. 1991 ed., Vol. 15: 591-592.

Quinn, Patrick F. ?Four Views of Edgar Poe.? Jahrbuch Fur Amerikastudien. 1960 ed., Vol. 5: 128-146.
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