Causes Of Edgar Allan Poe's Death

Better Essays
Grief holds power over the mind, bringing sorrowful thoughts and painful memories to a life once bound for happiness. Edgar Allan Poe’s childhood could have been one of dreams, but instead was consumed by the nightmare that was the death of both his parents. In the years that followed, many of those around him met their demise and left a mark on the writer. Seemingly in a constant state of grief, Poe never saw true happiness. Specifically, the death of Poe’s wife brought him pain shortly before he wrote the poem “A Dream Within a Dream.” Soon after the same poem was published, mysterious circumstances led Poe to join his wife in death. The poem has a dark theme that brings to question the sanity of the author, and what in his life influenced …show more content…
Edgar Allan Poe was a victim of this time and time again. Shortly after his birth, Edgar Allan Poe was orphaned, and during the remaining years of his life he further experienced the pain of loss. Beginning with the abandonment of his father, then shorty followed by the death of his mother, Edgar Allan Poe experienced two significant losses in the first two years of his life. (Constankis) Years later, the death of Poe’s wife, Virginia, left the writer in a state of great despair. “Virginia’s health was steadily declining. After her death from tuberculosis in 1847, he began lecturing, in addition to continuing to write short fiction and poetry.” (Constantakis) One of the poems that was written after her death was titled “A Dream Within a Dream” and focused on the loss of a loved one, assumed to be Virginia, and the effect that it had on the speaker, Poe. “As the poem progresses, the reader is led, by the speaker’s sense of grief and loss, to the conclusion that this parting is a final one.” (Constantakis) Saying goodbye is difficult, and Poe had to do this more often than most, as well as earlier than most. In “A Dream Within a Dream” after his farewell, Edgar Allan Poe goes on to question the many other feelings that are associated with …show more content…
To continue living after experiencing devastating loss brings countless challenges to everyday life. It may seem as if one is in a constant race against time. A major theme in this poem stems from time and the feeling that one does not have enough. “Grains of the golden sand...How few! yet how they creep...Through my fingers to the deep” (Poe) The grains of sand “are commonly used poetic images meant to represent time and its passage” as well as emphasize the inevitability and eventuality of death. (Constantakis) The desperation in the speaker’s words is evident while he talks of the grains of sand, and further calls out to God. “...the speaker’s sense of hopelessness is undeniable, and even his faith is depicted as futile.” (Constantakis) The speaker is questioning God as to why their loved one had to go, mirroring Poe’s life and the many hardships he continuously had to face. The loss of faith also merges into the loss of hope the speaker feels. “Like the loved one, hope has departed. The speaker describes the way hope has fled, and he contemplates the way hope… can disappear…” (Constantakis) As the speaker never expected to lose this person, all hopes of their future were suddenly lost forever as a result of death. The speaker’s “...hope has flown away…” (Poe) leaving

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    One of the most traumatic experiences in Poe’s life was the death of his wife Virginia Clemm. After her death Poe wrote “Annabel Lee” a poem where the narrator, much like Poe, loses the woman he loves. Poe reveals his damaged mental state and his feelings towards death through the first a person speaker in the poem “Annabel Lee” and the different feelings that are experienced while coping with death. The events in Poe’s childhood and young adult life largely contributed to Poe's negative mental state that stayed with him until he died. Poe’s birth father has a bad temper and a drinking problem and eventually abandoned his family leaving them with…

    • 2079 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    “Annabel Lee” shows the grieving and suffering narrator who lost his wife and can't accept her death because their love is unbreakable. “The Raven” shows another perspective of a hopeless man who also lost his wife and just lost hope and is in sorrow. Both stories give a sad and sorrowful feel and tone about losing a loved one. Edgar Allan Poe wrote great stories showing that death is hard to accept for everlasting…

    • 794 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This fear had caused Poe to be distant and not get involved in any serious relationships. Tuberculosis had haunted Poe on certain nights considering his wife, and both foster and birth mother had died from the disease. Poe had always spoke of the death of a young beautiful woman in his poems such as The Raven, Anabel Lee, and Ulalume ("How Does the Edgar Allan Poe 's Poem”). Not only was death a main topic of what he wrote, but death had took a major toll on his life. His most memorable work was influenced from the traumatic events during his younger years that had involved his most close companions who were ill and had died.…

    • 1359 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Poe’s poem “Annabel Lee” has the speaker talk about how badly he is grieving for his beloved Annabel Lee. The style that Poe writes in this poem about death and women, and is that he did lose his wife Virginia, biological mother and adoptive mother. Although, writing this poem no one knows why Poe has wrote it. After his death, this poem became popular and women who had a relationship with Poe they claimed it was about them. Some think it could have been about his late wife as well.…

    • 2555 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Edgar Allan Poe: A Tragedy

    • 1271 Words
    • 5 Pages

    The amount of grief that Edgar endured throughout his life is portrayed in the poem “A Dream within a Dream.” “O God! Can I not grasp them with a tighter clasp? O God! Can I not save one from the pitiless wave?”(stanza 2 lines 8-11). This phrase can be interpreted as Poe being unable to save the three women he lost in his life.…

    • 1271 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Poe was abandoned by his Father at a very young age and forced to live with his mother. After only a short while, his mother passed away. Poe was then sent to live with a wealthy couple. Poe was then removed from the homes of two foster families. This feeling of abandonment by not only his parents, but his foster parents as well, creates a melancholy tone is Poe’s poems that reflects these emotional events that…

    • 428 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    They are very similar in how they suffer and how they deal with their suffering. In order to forget, they block themselves from the outside world, except for the distraught soul in The Fall of the House of Usher who calls for the comfort of an old childhood friend. Edgar Allan Poe himself lived a very dark life. Dave Smith’s essay, “Edgar Allan Poe and the Nightmare Ode”, explores Poe’s life and how it affects his writing. Smith points out that most of Poe’s loved ones died when he was very young, causing him to feel “orphaned” and an outsider.…

    • 1437 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The poems, “Funeral Blues”, by W.H. Auden and “From Long Distance”, by Tony Harrison are about the feelings of sadness and mourning over the loss of a loved one. Both poems reflect how much death affects people, as well as how people are unable to let go of a loved one. The poet of the first poem is frustrated and expresses feelings of love as well as anger towards the death of his loved one. The second poem is about how the poet’s father cannot forget about his wife and therefore conveys the feelings of love and sadness.…

    • 1077 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This is very noticeable in his poem because the young student is trying to forget his beautiful love that died. Poe uses this theme to show the sorrow that he himself felt from his lost loves. “After choosing beauty as the province, Poe considered sadness to be the highest manifestation of beauty” (Hallquist 3). The sadness that Poe felt is shown throughout this poem when the student is mourning and being constantly reminded of the loss. Poe has always been greatly affected by death, in fact, Poe became very ill after Virginia’s death (Benton 4).…

    • 1398 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Poe was adopted at a young age because his mother passed away before he became three years old. Furthermore, his foster mother and wife also died before him and his foster father did want anything to do with him. Those miserable events in his life lead him to become an alcoholic and passed away mysteriously. Although Edgar Allan Poe’s work is not autobiographical, there is no doubt that the darkness of his life experience is reflected in his work. Edgar Allan Poe lived a miserable life.…

    • 984 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays