Edgar Allan Poe And The American Gothic Literary Movement

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According to Aristotle, ancient Greek scientist and philosopher, “There is no great genius without a mixture of madness” (Brainy Quotes, Aristotle). While many of the authors featured in the American gothic literary movement were considered mad at the time, their works reflected their condition. Gothic literature was a component of Romanticism that sprung up during the twentieth and twenty-first century in America. Notably, gothic literature mainly focused on ruin, decay, death, terror, and chaos (Milne 282). Numerous talented authors contributed to the American gothic literary movement. For instance, Charles Brockden Brown, the first American novelist earned his reputation as a gothic writer from his acclaimed novel, Wieland (Milne 283). Along …show more content…
Furthermore, Poe was born on January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts. His mother, Elizabeth Arnold Poe was a talented actress born into an English theatrical family. David Poe jr., Poe’s father was a traveling actor, but was neither talented nor responsible (May 1). After Poe’s parents separated, his mother, Elizabeth died in Richmond, Virginia in 1811. Edgar was not legally adopted, but taken in by a wealthy Scottish tobacco exporter, John Allan, whom he never had good relations with. Poe went to England for five years and attend the Manor House School. Later, when Poe returned to America, he enrolled in the University of Virginia, but left after one year due to major debt from gambling (May 1). Shortly thereafter, he entered the United States Army and attended West Point Military Academy, but was kicked out after only one year for disregarding his military duties. Following West Point, he moved to New York and raised money in order to publish Poems by Edgar A. Poe, Second Edition (May 2). Poe soon moved to Baltimore and entered five short stories into a contest sponsored by the Philadelphia Saturday Courier. Unfortunately, Poe did not win, but the newspaper did publish all five stories. Meanwhile, Poe spent years unsuccessfully trying to have his works published. Poe found happiness when he married Virginia Clemm in 1836. Poe tried, but failed to create his own literary magazine in 1840, but was able to publish his short stories, Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque. Poe eventually moved back to new York and joined the editorial staff of the New York Mirror. Between the years 1842 and 1844, Poe began to shine. He published some of his most distinguished works including “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Pit and Pendulum,” and “The Black Cat” (May 2). In 1845, Poe reached ultimate success and popularity when he released his most well-known poem, “The Raven” (May 3). Finally,

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