Edgar Allan Poe

The name Edgar Allan Poe brings to mind images of cold dark castles, creepy basement and an inevitable encounter with the eternal slumber that will greet us all someday. Poe is known for bizarre, quirky characters who take pleasure in the torment of the soul. This research will explore the life of Edgar Allan Poe and his works.

The mysterious man known as Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston in January of 1809. At age three, both of parents died and he went to live with John Allan, a wealthy tobacco merchant. Poe was raised with the intention that he would become a wealthy businessman in the tobacco industry, but Poe had dreams of becoming a writer. Poe began composing handwritten poems in his spare time and soon had enough to publish a book. His adoptive father would have none of it. In 1825, Poe went to the University of Virginia. Poe excelled in his classes, but amassed considerable debt, for which he was threatened with jail time.

Poe joined the army and did not repay his debts. He spent five years in the army. When John Allan’s wife died, he decided to support Poe in his endeavors to study at West Point academy. The reconciliation between Allan and Poe was short-lived and soon they were quarreling again. During the lengthy admission process for West Point, Poe was able to publish his first work. Poe sabotaged his military career with disobedience. He was court marshalled in 1831 (EGA). After this he returned to New York and then later to Baltimore. When John Allan died, he left nothing of his massive estate to Poe. The disinherited character is a common theme in his works.

Edgar Allan Poe’s life was a life of turmoil and upheaval. The themes that show up in his life are also found in his works. Poe’s characters spend considerable time confronting grief and loss in their lives, undoubtedly a reflection of his own inner grief and turmoil. It is the richness of Poe’s understanding of the darkest depths of the human soul that make his work stand out among his contemporaries.

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