Many times the events that take place early on in a writer’s life affect the work he produces later on in life. This is such the case with Edgar Allan Poe. His difficult life is, without a doubt, reflected in his dark, macabre tales and poems. He is widely acknowledged as the inventor of the modern detective story and an innovator in the science fiction genre, but he made his living as America’s first great literary critic and theoretician. Poe’s reputation today rests primarily on his tales of terror as well as on his haunting lyric poetry. Edgar Allan Poe used his literary works, to alleviate the stresses of reality.
In his works he vented his frustrations and own negativity to illuminate the darker side of existence, and often used his own life experiences in his characters. Poe had a unique vision of the dark side of life-terror, suspense, mystery, madness, and phantoms were his literary specialties. Edgar Allan Poe had a demented and unnatural life. His mother, foster mother, wife, and brother had passed away of tuberculosis and his father had abandoned their family (The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe). Poe was raised by the Allan family (The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe). While Mrs.
Allan was a second mother to him, Mr. John Allan didn’t want anything to do with him (The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe). Poe had been dismissed out of college because he was poor and John Allan didn’t give him money to study further (The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe). Poe had been lonely all his life and didn’t have a hand over his head for him to look up to. Poe had thought to seek revenge on John Allan for not being a dependable father. Poe had later on moved in with his aunt Maria Clemm and married his cousin, Virginia Clemm who was not even fourteen (The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe).
The horrid story “The Cask of Amontillado” written by Poe is a complex piece of literature that combines death, revenge, insanity, and humiliation all together. “The Cask of Amontillado” consists of a lengthy monologue by a character who tells the story of a terrible crime he committed, without providing any insight into the extent of the insult he has suffered or any significant justification of the crime (Sova). Told from the first-person point of view, the tale offers an especially dark view of human nature, because readers are differentiating the mind and heart of a narrator who is without remorse for the terrible crime he has committed Sova). This story shows the revenge caused on the character Fortunato by Montresor. Montresor had tricked Fortunato into going into the catacombs, saying he will show Fortunato Amontillado wine. Montresor had asphyxiated Fortunato by locking him up in the catacombs below his mansion and building a brick wall to leave him coughing to death because of the niter on the walls of the catacombs. Montresor had murdered Fortunato because Fortunato had humiliated Montresor. Poe’s life is similar to this short story because Poe wanted to seek revenge on John Allan for not being there when he needed him the most.
Poe had written many letters to John Allan begging and pleading for money and to give him fatherly affection and care. “I have not one cent in the world to provide any food”, (John Allan). Poe had to put his furniture on fire so he can have heat, since he was so insufficient of money. Poe wanted to make John Allan suffer since he has never gotten the fatherly companionship that Poe always wanted for. Poe has been tortured many times in his life mentally and socially. In the short story “The Pit and the Pendulum”, the main character was tortured in many ways during the Spanish Inquisition.
In the short story the main character was in a pitch – dark dungeon so he couldn’t see where the army had taken him to. In the short story the main character was tied to a table over which a razor sharp, steel crescent slowly descended. They intended for him to be repeatedly sliced and for him to bleed to death. The main character was tortured by the army several times. The narrator wiped his food that he was given over the parts of the ropes he could reach so the rats that were in the room with him would eat through them. After the narrator became free from the table, he was subjected to yet another mean toward death.
The walls of the room started to move inward, pushing him into the pit. Just as he was about to be forced into the pit, he was saved and the Inquisition was over. Poe was also tormented socially and financially. In 1826 Poe left Richmond to attend the University of Virginia, where he excelled in his classes while accumulating considerable debt. John Allan had sent Poe to college with less than a third of the money he needed, and Poe soon took up gambling to raise money to pay his expenses. He started to drink heavily and quickly became in debt.
By the end of his first term Poe was so desperately poor that he burned his own furniture to keep warm. Poe had to quit school in less than a year later. Edgar Allan Poe had no money, no job skills, and had been neglected by John Allan. Poe had no friend, no job, and was in financial trouble. Poe began writing professionally when he was only eighteen, but his works never gained him the recognition or money he longed for. Only after his death did Poe’s fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews gain popularity and critical acclaim. While Poe was alive he has been tortured mentally, socially, and financially.
In Edgar Allan Poe’s life many deaths have occurred. In his short story “The Masque of the Red Death”, a disease known as the Red Death plagues the fictional country where this story is set. It caused its sufferer to die instantly and gruesomely. Even though this disease is spreading rapidly, the prince, Prospero, feels peaceful and hopeful. He decides to lock the gates of his palace in order to protect himself and his close friends from the plague, ignoring the illness that is devastating the land. After several months, Prince Prospero throws a fancy masquerade ball.
For this celebration, he adorns the rooms of his house in single colors. The easternmost room is decorated in blue, with blue stained – glass windows. The next room is purple with the same stained-glass window pattern. The rooms continue westward, according to this design, in the following color arrangement: green, orange, white, and violet. The seventh room is black, with scarlet windows. In this room stands an ebony clock. When the clock rings each hour, its sound is so powerful and rambunctious that everyone stops enjoying and the orchestra stops playing.
Most guests, however, avoid the final, black-and-red room because it contains both the clock and an inauspicious ambiance. At midnight, a new guest appears, dressed more devilish than the other guests. His face reveals spots of blood displaying that he is a victim of the Red Death. Prospero becomes angry that someone with so little wit and levity would join his party. The other guests, however, are so afraid of this masked man that they fail to prevent him from walking through each room. Prospero finally catches up to the new guest in the black-and-red room.
As soon as he confronts the figure, Prospero dies. When the other party-goers enter the room to attack the cloaked man, they find that there is nobody beneath the costume. Everyone then dies. Poe examines the themes of madness, the passage of time, and the nature of death in this story (Sova). Many people that were attached to Edgar Allan Poe have passed away because of the disease tuberculosis. His mother, foster mother, brother, and wife have all passed away. Poe’s mother passed away on December 8, 1811 when he was barely three years old. Poe had watched his mother die right in front of his eyes.
Mrs. Allan, Poe’s foster mother passed away on February 28, 1829. Edgar Allan Poe’s wife, Virginia Clemm died at the age of twenty – four in the winter of 1847 in a tiny cottage. Poe has lost the loving people of his life to tuberculosis. In Poe’s lifetime he has experienced loneliness almost all his life. In the most famous poem of Edgar Allan Poe “The Raven”, the main character was mourning over his lost love and how he felt so abandoned and solitary. In the poem, the main character mourns over his beloved Leonor. The main character in the poem relates to Poe in many ways.
Poe has always lost his loved ones whether it be his parents or his love. In his life, Poe has always tried to find love wherever he went. Poe had many relationships with many women before and after his marriage with Virginia. Poe also had no friends during his college days and never had friends after his college days. Poe has been lonely in life one way or another whether it be the lack of fatherly love and affection or friendship. Poe never had anyone to look up to since his own father had abandoned him and his foster father wanted nothing to do with him.
Poe has been almost always lonely during his lifetime. Edgar Allan Poe’s life relates to his works in many ways. Poe brings out the negativities in life that he experienced through his dark, horrid tales and poems. Poe has used his characters as duplicates of himself in all his literature. Since his life was so demented he used his life as a reference for writing gothic and gruesome tales. In his life Poe had to experience a lot of depression during his young years. Edgar Allan Poe was one of the most essential authors in literature only due to his macabre stories. Poe passed away on Sunday, October 7, 1849.