Edgar Allan Poe is one of the taking figures of American literature. He is known as a poet and a critic, but is most celebrated as the first maestro of the short narrative signifier, particularly narratives of the cryptic and ghastly. In Poe ‘s verse forms, like his narratives, his characters are tortured by unidentified frights and yearnings. Today Poe is acclaimed as one of America ‘s greatest authors, but in his ain unhappy life-time he knew small but failure.
Poe had an unstable household life. The insecure topographic point he held at place interfered with his emotional stableness. He was born as the boy of histrions. “ The two were non notably talented ; they played minor functions in third-rate theatrical companies. ” ( Buranalli 7 ) Between them they hardly managed to do a life. Poe was the second of their three kids. About the clip the 3rd kid was born, the male parent died, or disappeared, and Mrs. Poe went to Richmond, Virginia with the two youngest kids. The oldest kid, William Henry, had been left in the attention of his grandparents in Baltimore shortly after his birth. Mrs. Poe was overtaken by a fatal unwellness ( TB ) . Devastated by the disease and worn out with the battle to back up her kids, she died. Edgar, two old ages old, and the baby, Rosaline, were orphaned.
Poe was taken into the place of John Allan, a affluent merchandiser. His married woman, Frances Allan, had no kids and wanted to follow Poe as her boy. Mr. Allan was unwilling to perpetrate himself to a measure of such permanency. “ The acting profession was despised at the clip and was even considered immoral. ” ( Meyers 11 ) Mr. Allan thought the small boy of histrion parents was a questionable individual to inherit his name and the luck he was busy roll uping. He was nevertheless, willing to back up the kid, to delight his married woman.
Family was of the greatest importance in Richmond, the topographic point where Poe spent most of his boyhood. Poe felt the difference between the kids at school and himself. He was non close to his ( Foster ) male parent, like other male childs were. Mr. Allan ‘s involuntariness to follow him bothered him greatly. It hurt him that he was non wanted plenty by his male parent to lawfully be his boy. He acted out in tantrums of pique and rebellion. His household did non understand his concluding for being so upset. Mr. Allan was a mulish man of affairs with no forbearance for Poe ‘s “ reasonless ” actions. “ He handled the state of affairs by reminding the male child of his ‘disreputable ‘ parenthood ; he reproached him for deficiency of ‘gratitude ‘ for his place. ” ( Buranelli 37 )
Mr. Allan had from clip to clip engaged in extra-marital dealingss. Some of his natural kids were so populating in Richmond and the cognition of this, in one manner or another, seemed to hold become known to his married woman. Her sorrow was great. When Edgar learned of his Foster male parent ‘s personal businesss, he took sides with his female parent.
Mr. Allan was cold to Poe and it was rarely that they got along. Poe was eager to get away the Allan house, and was relived when he was sent away to the University of Virginia. His Foster male parent provided him with well less than the sum necessary to pay his manner. In order to keep his place he began to chance to a great extent, this merely led him to greater debt. By the terminal of the twelvemonth he owed 2,500 dollars. He was nervous and unstable, and he began to imbibe. Mr. Allan ‘s pride and thrift could non digest such behavior. Without hold, he pulled Poe out of the University and set him to work at a lowly, everyday occupation in his numeration house. Poe despised his occupation and his Foster male parent, so he left place.
After this point the lone clip Poe communicated with his Foster male parent was when he needed money or needed to be bailed out of a hard state of affairs. Mr. Allan reluctantly helped him, until the decease of Mrs. Allan. When Mrs. Allan died his Foster male parent remarried and disowned Poe.
Although Poe had no support from his ( Foster ) household, he still made a success of himself. He was praised in his clip, as he is now, but he was ne’er paid much for his work. His calling started when he won a narrative competition for the “ MS. Found in A Bottle ” in 1833. The choice money was non much, but one of the Judgess, novelist John P. Kennedy, had an involvement in Poe and befriended him by assisting him sell a narrative to the new Southern Literary Messenger of Richmond. Poe joined the editorial staff of the magazine and shortly became its editor. A figure of his ain narratives appeared in its pages. He was shown to be an able editor and perceptive literary critic. He made a name for both himself and the magazine.
Unfortunately, Poe was an alcoholic. He was dismissed from the Messenger for poisoning, taken back, and once more dismissed for the same ground. Poe looked for work in a publication house or with a magazine, but had no fortune because during this clip there was a fiscal terror and assorted magazines were compelled to discontinue publication. He successfully published a long sea narrative, called “ The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym ” . “ This narrative was so convincing in its item that some critics were certain it was the record of an existent ocean trip. ” ( Carlson 78 )
After two old ages, Poe began redacting once more, this clip for Burton ‘s Gentlemen ‘s Magazine. A contract for a Monthly characteristic set him to composing some of his narratives of horror and the supernatural. These narratives were collected and published under the rubric, “ Narratives of the Grotesque and Arabesque ” in 1840, followed by The Prose Romances of Edgar Allan Poe. The same twelvemonth Burton ‘s was sold ( the name was changed to Graham ‘s Magazine ) Poe became editor of its replacement. “ Under his direction, it became possibly the most of import American magazine of its twenty-four hours. ” ( Carlson 84 ) In it was printed his first detective narrative, “ The Murders in the Rue Morgue ” .
In 1843, his narrative, “ The Gold Bug ” , won a $ 100 award from the Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper. This brought him considerable promotion. The following twelvemonth, he left Graham ‘s Magazine. Soon after, his verse form, “ The Raven ” , was published in the New York Evening Mirror. It was reprinted in a figure of magazines, and at one time became highly popular. “ Poe himself frequently read it to groups, with the lamps turned down until the room was about dark, while his voice took on an suitably eerie tone. ” ( Meyers 152 ) With “ The Raven ” , Poe reached the tallness of his celebrity.
However, his repute brought him small money, and the household remained urgently hapless. Few freelance authors can do a life by composing merely ; most depend upon column and other places. Poe worked briefly on the Evening Mirror, the Broadway Journal, and wrote a series of studies for Godey ‘s Lady ‘s Book. He was successful in acquiring such column occupations, but he ne’er held them long. “ Alcoholism and mounting mental upset made Poe quarrelsome and unreasonable. ” ( Carlson 209 ) He was known to frequently hold effusions of mindless fury. His infantile fits and his hostile verbal onslaughts offended the very individuals who could hold helped him most in his calling.
When Poe lost his married woman, his last clasp on world vanished. He worked feverishly at composing a book, “ Eureka ” , which he believed would be an look of profound truth. The book was a unusual clutter of unproved scientific statement and wild imaginings, jumping from his disturbed province.
It is known that Poe was the conceiver of the American short narrative. There had been other short plants of fiction, but Poe perfected the short narrative as an art signifier. Jules Verne, Rudyard Kipling, and Conan Doyle were all influenced by his authorship. Poe was most popular for his detective narratives. No 1 has outdone him in making an ambiance of morbid horror in such narratives as “ The Pit and the Pendulum ” and “ The Tell-Tale Heart ” . It is sad that, though his endowment was recognized and appreciated, he was ne’er in really good fiscal province.
Poe ‘s love life was merely every bit dejecting as his professional and household lives were. His love affairs all ended in desperation. He met his first love, Sarah Elmira Royster, while he was go toing the University of Virginia. She lived on a nearby street, so he visited he frequently. Before Poe left the University he was engaged to Elmira. Their matter was non made known to the grownups of either family. Mr. and Mrs. Royster learned of the love matter and brought force per unit area to interrupt off the lucifer. “ Poe ‘s letters to his sweetie were intercepted and Elmira was forbidden to compose. The attendings of an eligible immature unmarried man, A. Barret Shelton, were pressed upon her, and she was eventually sent away for a piece into safekeeping. ” ( Buranelli 94 )
On September 22, 1835, Poe married his first cousin Virginia Clemm. She was merely approximately 13 old ages old at the clip. Virginia was unfailingly devoted to him. She was sweet and soft, but instead simple-minded. She could non follow the “ wild fears of Poe ‘s fickle mastermind ” , but she gave him an adoring, esteem. He showed his best ego to her. In January of 1842 Virginia started demoing symptoms of TB. She grew sicker steadily for five old ages, while Poe sank deeper into melancholia. During this clip Poe resorted to imbibing more than of all time. There is besides grounds of him utilizing opium at this clip. During the winter of 1846-47, when the twosome had small nutrient of fuel, Virginia reached the terminal of life.
After Virginia ‘s decease Poe became even more down and temperamental. He slept with many adult females in a vain effort to happen comfort for the loss of his married woman. In 1849 he re-met his high school sweetie, Elmira. They became engaged. After doing nuptials programs, he set out for New York City from Richmond, but disappeared in Baltimore. He was found five yearss after he disappeared really close decease. He died without recovering full consciousness, four yearss subsequently on October 7, 1849, 10 yearss before the day of the month he had set for his nuptials.
Poe ‘s life was so marked by wretchedness and calamity. He was abandon by his male parent, lived in poorness as a author, and suffered the loss of many loved 1s. On the other manus, possibly it was his drab life that caused him to get away into the inventive phantasy universe that became his author ‘s resort area. Looking at it from that position, possibly his unfortunate personal life was the springboard for his success as a author. Poe did, no affair, have great endowment and will everlastingly be remembered for his glare in American literature