Edgar Allan Poe Symbolism

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Edgar Allan Poe endured many difficulties throughout his life. Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 19, 1809. Poe was one of three children in his family. Following Poe’s mother’s death, he was sent to a foster home and separated from his other siblings. Poe’s foster parents, Mr. and Mrs. Allan, were wealthy. However, Mr. Allan only gave Poe about one third of his needed money to attend school in England. During Poe’s life he struggled to find a sustainable job. Poe worked as an editor most of the time to try and support Mrs. Clemm and his dear wife and Cousin Virginia. Virginia’s health later declined, and she died in 1847. After losing Virginia, Poe fell into depression. On October 3, 1849, Poe was found lying in a gutter in …show more content…
Poe uses many objects, characters, and colors to represent his symbolism of death. For example in “The Fall of the House of Usher” Poe uses the house of Usher to symbolize the family’s condition. The narrator even explains that the house is in a similar condition in relation to the family. “I had so worked upon my imagination as really to believe that about the whole mansion and domain there hung an atmosphere peculiar to themselves…--a pestilent and mystic vapor, dull, sluggish, faintly discernible, and leaden—hued.” Another example of symbolism when Poe describes Fortunato’s appearance. “The man wore motley. He had on a tight fitting tarti-stripped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells.” Fortunato’s appearance symbolizes his true self, that Fortunato is a disrespectful and hurtful jokester that is also a coward. A third example of symbolism is in “The Masque of the Red Death”. Poe uses a mysterious figure to represent death and that death is unexpected. “The figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave. The mask which concealed the visage was made so nearly to resemble the countenance of a stiffened corpse.” Another example of symbolism in “The Masque of the Red Death” is the different colored rooms and their representation of the different stages of life. “The second chamber was purple…fourth…orange—the fifth with white—the sixth with violet. The seventh apartment was closely shrouded in black.” A fourth example of symbolism appearing in Poe’s writing is in “Hop-Frog”. The king and his seven ministers all represent mean and joking rich people that show no respect to the inferior and less fortunate individuals. Poe describes the men as “being large, corpulent, oily men, as well as inimitable jokers.” Whether it is death or a fat rich man, symbolism is always present in Poe’s

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