Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King: a Comparison and Contrast of Their W
<br>Before Poe was forced to leave the University of Virginia, he unfortunately discovered the curious effects of alcohol. "One glass of wine went to his head; very little more than that made him drunk. Alcohol was a dangerous stimulant for him- one that was eventually to bring about his ruin" (Van Doren Stern xviii). Beginning in college and continuing through the rest of his life, Poe would struggle with a drinking problem that earned him a broad reputation for being a senseless drunk. Though he frequently tried to quit drinking, it was never long before he would fall off the wagon and drink once again. Considering all that is currently known about the sustained effects of alcohol on the brain, it is possible that he never reached his full capabilities as a writer. One also has to wonder if his subject matters in writing (i.e., death, horror and fantasy) would have been the same if his youth hadn't been so traumatic or his drinking so serious.
<br>Similar to Poe, King was also an alcoholic, probably addicted as early as 1975. By 1985 he also developed a drug addiction to cocaine making him feel like a prisoner in his own body and mind. Between the alcohol and drugs he was on a downward spiral, and it was showing in his writing. He relates the dramatic effect that it took on his writing, stating "The deep part of me that knew I was an alcoholic as early as 1975 wouldn't accept that. Silence isn't what that part is about. It began to scream for help the only