Literary Response Paper : Edgar Allan Poe

Literary Response Paper : Edgar Allan Poe

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Nadia O 'Banion


Professor Carlos


ENGL 1302


28 April 2016


English 1302 literary response paper








Edgar Allan Poe was one of America 's most celebrated storytellers and poets but his life was full of misfortune and disappointment and this may have been the reason he turned to alcohol and opium. Evidence of his mental anguish and addictions is reflected in his writings. Poe was born in Boston in 1809, he was the son of itinerant actors. His father, whose father was a famous Revolutionary War general, was a heavy drinker and deserted the family when Poe was 18 months old; he died a short time later of tuberculosis. A few months later his mother got tuberculosis plus she was succumbed to pneumonia. At three years old Poe was adopted by a neighbor, John and Frances Allan, and their surname became his middle name. His new father, a wealthy Virginia merchant, was miserly and emotionally indifferent toward Poe, but his new mother was much more affectionate; she and Poe were very close. In 1826 he entered the University of Virginia. He proved a superior student but inferior gambler, and ran up large debts. At age 17 he began a lifelong habit of alcohol abuse. When news of his adopted son 's behavior reached John Allan, he withdrew his financial support and Poe had to leave college and had to enlist in the military, spending 2 years in the ranks. While poe was in the military his step mother died from tuberculosis. In 1836 Poe married his 13 year old cousin, Virginia Clemm. They lived in Baltimore and Poe worked as an editor but was let go because of his drinking problem.Virginia became ill of tuberculosis and suffered for 4 years until she died in 1847, at age 24. Poe grieved her greatly and for a period abused both ...


... middle of paper ...


... the hour of four. At the same time, the narrator hears a knock at the street door. The police have arrived, having been called by a neighbor who heard the old man shriek. The narrator is careful to be chatty and to appear normal. He leads the officers all over the house without acting suspiciously. At the height of his bravado, he even brings them into the old man’s bedroom to sit down and talk at the scene of the crime. The policemen do not suspect a thing. The narrator is comfortable until he starts to hear a low thumping sound. He recognizes the low sound as the heart of the old man, pounding away beneath the floorboards. He panics, believing that the policemen must also hear the sound and know his guilt. Driven mad by the idea that they are mocking his agony with their pleasant chatter, he confesses to the crime and shrieks at the men to rip up the floorboards.

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