Edgar Allan Poe North American Literature I
“They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." From: Eleonora
To Begin… • Was born Edgar Poe to Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe and David Poe Jr. • on January 19, 1809 • Boston, Massachusetts. • He was the second child. He had an older brother, William and a younger sister, Rosaline. • His parents were traveling actors • His father abandoned the family in 1810 • His mother died a year later of tuberculosis.
After his parents death… • Edgar was taken in by John Allan, a successful Scottish merchant. • The Allan’s served as a foster family and gave him the name “Edgar Allan Poe”. However, the Allan’s never formally adopted him. • After a brief college experience Poe stopped talking to the family all together.
Education • Poe attended grammar school in Irvine, Scotland in 1815… • He moved onto boarding school in Chelsea until the summer of 1817. • Poe also attended the University of Virginia, however he dropped out after a year due to large gambling debts.
Military Experience • On May 27, 1827 Poe enlisted in the US Army. He claimed to be 22, but he was really only 18 • After a few years Poe left the military. • Due to a disagreement on funds Poe ended his relationship with his foster parents. • Shortly after Mrs. Allan passed away.
After the military… • Poe lived in Baltimore with his aunt and her eight-year-old daughter, Virginia. • Poe became Virginia’s tutor. • In 1836 Poe married Virginia who at the time was 13. • Virginia died at an early age due to tuberculosis and inspired many literary pieces that we have from Poe.
Publishing… • Poe was the first well-known American author to try and live on his writing alone. • Poe was the first writer to use vocabulary to set the mood of his story rather than the setting. • Due to publishers having insufficient funds, Poe often found himself begging for money • Due to lack of money, Poe took several editorial positions.
Popular titles… • The Raven- Poem • The Bells- Poem • Annabel Lee- Poem • The Black Cat – Tale • The Pit and the Pendulum – Tale • The Tell- Tale Heart – Tale • The Murders in the Rue Morgue – Tale • The Masque of the Red Death - Tale • The Fall of the House of Usher- Short Story • The Philosophy of Composition - Essay
Genre • Poe was a Gothic writer. • Many of his works are classified as dark romanticism. • He was the first to write and publish a successful detective story • Is the father of the horror story.
Much of Poe's popularity has grown out of a fascination with his peculiar, tortured life. • Mind was, definitely, Poe’s favorite writing area; he tirelessly explored subjects such as self-destruction, madness, and imagination in works such as "The Imp of the Perverse," "William Wilson”. • Stories such as "Ligeia," "Landor's Cottage," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "MS Found in a Bottle," and The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym all make more sense when read as journeys into and around the mind rather than accounts of the physical world.
Hisimportance • "The Raven," has been called the best-known poem in the Western Hemisphere. • Among the general public, Poe is known primarily for his mastery of the Gothic genre. • Poe's short stories "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "Ligeia" are both classic examples of the genre.
Perhaps Poe's most enduring contribution to popular culture has been his invention of the detective story. His chief detective, C. AugusteDupin, and stories such as "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" have inspired countless imitators, most notably Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes.
In 1843, he published some booklets containing a few of his short stories but they didn't sell well enough. He won a hundred dollars for his story, “The Gold Bug" and sold a few other stories to magazines but he barely had enough money to support his family. • In 1844, Poe moved back to New York. • In 1845 Virginia's health was fading away and Edgar was deeply distressed by it. She died in 1847. • Poe collapsed from stress but gradually returned to health later that year.
Hislastdays On October 3, Poe was found at Gunner's Hall, a public house at 44 East Lombard Street Philadelphia , and was taken to the hospital. He lapsed in and out of consciousness but was never able to explain exactly what happened to him. Edgar Allan Poe died in the hospital on Sunday, October 7, 1849.
Death • October 3, 1849, Poe was found on the streets of Baltimore in a delirious state. He died on October 7th. • It is not known how Poe came to the condition in which he died. • He was wearing another person’s clothing • His final words were, “Lord help my poor soul” • All of Poe’s medical records have been lost.
The mystery surrounding Poe's death has led to many myths and urban legends. The reality is that no one knows for sure what happened during the last few days of his life.
Death cont’d • There are many theories as to the true reason for Poe’s death. A few of them are epilepsy, diabetes, rabies, murder, beating • There is a story that from the day he was buried to today, a hooded person visits his grave with a rose on the anniversary of his death