Born in 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts, Edgar Allan Poe was a renowned literary critic, writer, and editor. His works of poetry, short stories and literature were widely recognized. Edgar’s parents were actors. Edgar did not receive parental care as his mother died shortly after his father left home. Poe was only one year old when his father left the family. He landed in the arms of John and Francis as their foster child. Despite living in London with his adoptive parents, Edgar studied in the United States. During his lifetime, Edgar lived a troubled life. Poe lost his parents at an early age and later on lost his foster parents as a result of reckless gambling. This gambling addiction also came with the loss of friends and his university education. As a result, he spent his time in isolation lacking social depression. Poe sank into depression and turned to alcohol and other drugs so as to put aside his problems temporarily. He later died at the early age of 40 on October 7, 1849. Edgar Poe’s wild life, gambling addiction, dismal relationship with women and his endless struggle with depression earned him the title and position of the greatest old writer of the romantic literature era.
It is the hardships that Poe went through that inspired him to begin his works. It is easy to see the connection between his characters, and him and the people in his life. Most of his works appear to be normal, but end up in tragedy, the same way his life did. For example, “Annabel Lee” was inspired by His wife, as well as her death.
Poe became the best gothic writer as a result of his endless struggle with depression. The issues back home forced him to exit the United States Military Academy. His wife died as a result of Tuberculosis barely ten years after getting married. This loss plunged him into further depression, illustrating it in his poem with the lines, “Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aiden. It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore (Poe, 4). Poe’s ability to write poems that are romantic can be seen as a result of his state of isolation and depression. In November 1848, Poe attempted suicide by consuming an overdose of the liquid opium (Quick, 13). To relieve himself from the restlessness, agitation, and irritability, Poe would often indulge himself in drinking that would lead him to suffer from hysteria as indicated in historical records. He seems to express his addiction to alcohol in his story, “The Cask of Amontillado.” It seems the alcohol has altered his view of the world. Morbid thoughts plagued his life, as he would think about death quite often. He relieved himself from memories and logical thinking by using alcohol and other stimulants. Ellie Quick adds in her article How Poe’s Life Leaked into His Works that; “he lived a solitary lie that did not expose him to many social events” (Quick, 17). Poe was a poor writer even in his adulthood. To solve this, he sought wealthy women who would offer financial assistance. Although his works were thoughtful and unique, Poe did not receive attention from publishers (Whalen, 25). His experiences with these wealthy women push him to narrate one of his experiences with such women in is work “Annabel Lee, the Oval Portrait, and the fall of the House of Usher” (Poe). He narrates the mysterious death of a young and beautiful woman (Quick, 16). Poe’s dark poetry is contributed to by the depression he underwent since childhood.
Poe had an appalling and dismal relationship with women. This kind of relationship afflicted him throughout his life, but it also made him the greatest gothic writer of the Romantic literary Era. Poe’s mother passed on when he was only two years old. Poe once again lost his foster mother at the age of nineteen. Growing up, traumatic experiences which included losing his family members gave him the inspiration to write about dark events, more especially about death (Whalen, 24). The theme of death in most of his works revolves around women. For example, a line in “The Raven,” “Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing” Poe’s paranoia and fear are brought into light (Poe, 4). He is afraid that the traumatizing events in the past may repeat themselves. He is afraid that he may lose more people as he did in the past. Poe’s experiences allow him to merge imagination and other literary devices to come up with works that have enabled him to earn his title. Poe was clinically insane and was also a Narcotic addict who expressed a sick and malnourished lifestyle at the University (Quick, 4). Intense emotions and feelings of anger and pain facilitated his dark writing. His early works were more about women than women. These works were mostly about women dying tragically and mysteriously. The loss of his birth mother and foster mother apparently influenced such writing. He depicts women as vulnerable and corruptible by death. As a result of his dark writing merged with his despise of women, Poe earns himself the position of the greatest old writer.
As a result of reckless gambling in Poe’s teenage and early childhood, he was able to emerge as the best old writer of the romantic literature period. While studying at the University of Virginia, Poe took part in prohibited activities in the institution. One of these activities included gambling. He lost communication with Sarah Elmira Royster and Allan who were his friends in his first year of study, as a result of excessive gambling. Poe was regularly in debt as he had to borrow money to cater or his gambling habits. The money sent to him by his foster parents was not enough to cover the cost of academic materials and gaming. David Punter states that apart from losing his adoptive parents’ support, his endless scandals and reckless were the main reason why his girlfriend left him for another man and therefore, forming the basis for his skills as an old writer (Punter, 33). The rejection by Royster as a result of his massive debts and unquenchable desire or gambling inspired) him the poem “Tamerlane,” which main points of focus are pride, independence, loss, and exile. The loss of his parents at only nineteen is as a result of his reckless behaviour and misuse of money. Poe’s losses elevate even more, when he is unable to continue with his education and the chances of getting his part of the inheritance from his foster parents. It is even possible that Poe’s depression accelerated due to his gambling problems. He was unable to pay debts, and this might have possibly plunged him further into depression and increased drug use. Poe went through several losses due to gambling (Punter, 34). These losses include friends, foster parents, and his university education. All these losses are recounted in his gothic poetry allowing him to stand as the best gothic writer in his era.
Poe’s work has been a source of inspiration for many people. For example, Steven King and Clive Barker have followed in the poet’s footsteps (Meslow). He is the man at the forefront of the genre of horror.
Poe’s life was not a good life. It was not the kind of life a person would wish to live. It was filled with traumatic experiences, for example, losing his mother at an early age of two. He was constantly in depression and turned to drugs so as to be able to forget the kind of troubles he was going through. Poe’s life was demeaning. He was a gambling addict in constant debt, and he had to depend on wealthy women to do him financial favours. However, the kind of life Poe led gave him the opportunity to write profound and dark poems. Poe’s works reflected the kind of life he led. It gave him attention from gothic writing scholars and gave him the chance to, later on, be termed as the best gothic writer in the romantic literature period.