Essay about Edgar Allan Poe 's Writing Is Influenced By His Own Life

1105 Words Jan 27th, 2015 5 Pages
Even in death, Edgar Allan Poe couldn’t avoid tragedy. Arthur Hobson Quinn, prominent Poe biographer, once said “The fatality, which always accompanied Edgar Poe’s living actions, followed him after death and the [his] tombstone was broken before it could be erected” (Quinn 643). Poe’s first taste of success came when he won “a short-story contest with his [story] ‘MS Found in a Bottle’” (Introduction II). He would go on to publish hundreds of short stories, poems, book reviews, and thoughtful essays, but he would never, during his lifetime, achieve the level of success his first contest win provided. Poe’s lifetime was one of tragedy: his dad left him at birth, his mom died when he was a toddler, and he was eventually disowned by his adopted father. This much we know. What we don’t know is how much of Poe’s writing is influenced by his own life. If we are to take a closer look at a few of Poe’s short stories, there are clues to show that Poe e used his own life experiences with tragedy to influence his writing in order to make the reader suffer as he suffered. The story “Hop-Frog” demonstrate Poe’s own struggles with alcohol. According to, Andrew Shaffer’s, Literary Rogues, Poe “was an alcoholic who drank for the same reasons that he wrote: to push back the depression that he was constantly waging a war against” (Shaffer 48). Even his French translator—a famous author in his own rite—Charles Baudelaire, said “Poe used alcohol as a weapon to kill ‘a worm inside that would…

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