Edgar Allan Poe Pessimism

“Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence–whether much that is glorious whether all that is profound–does not spring from disease of thought–from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect” (Poe 513). Influential author of the 19th century, Edgar Allan Poe, is renowned for his dark, ghastly representations of emotionally haunted, and mentally insane characters; However, the very man who wrote of such psychological wonders relied on his personal experiences and inner most darkest thoughts to do so. He knew this too, he believed his madness contributed to his intelligence and was the very inspiration for his eerie poems. The reason behind his rather …show more content…
From the information available, it can be assumed that Poe had more of a pessimistic view on life. Pessimism can be defined as “a general tendency to envision the future as unfavorable,” or in other words, always expecting the worst (Walker 110). After receiving his final letter from John Allan, and being rejected for multiple jobs, Edgar Allan Poe “could not see a future for himself, and in some moments he despaired of ever finding his way” (Streissguth 31). Another aspect of Poe’s personality can be defined as being a Type A in relation to stress. Type A individuals live a “competitive, aggressive, ambitious, and stressful lifestyle (Walker 354). Edgar Allan Poe was often described as ambitious and competitive in school (Streissguth 18). He was also very stubborn and had anger-prone tendencies. He is even thought to have suffered from manic-depression, also known as bipolar disorder (Birch). Edgar Allan Poe often wrote of his mood swings, he even “fell in love with his melancholy” (Birch). He also commonly wrote about compulsive and chaotic characters. A frequent effect of bipolar disorder is alcohol abuse, which Poe also suffered from. He had an addictive personality, drinking too much, and ultimately causing his death. His psychological complexes were also the muse or grounds behind his …show more content…
Poe loved to explore the strong sensation of terror, the fear of the unknown. He often depicts the nightmarish stories of nervous, obsessive, and rather insane characters, many of whom are involved in death, either their own or those who wish to cause it upon another. In “The Cask of Amontillado,” the main character Montresor is very cold and merciless. The story takes place in a creepy catacomb, where the “walls had been lined with human remains (Poe 194). Montresor in search of revenge on Fortunato, secretly and strategically plans his demise. He lures him into the crypts and traps him down there by building a wall. This is just one example of a short story written by Poe that revolves around the themes of murder and torture. Another well-known story “The Tell-Tale Heart,” is also a convincing example of the psychological ideas Poe explored and most likely possessed himself. In this story, the narrator claims he is not mad, and even views his hypersensitivity as proof of his sanity, when in reality it is a symptom of his madness. “How, then am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily–how calmly I can tell you the whole story” (Poe 121). He then goes on to tell his whole murderous plan, not realizing what his confession will cause him. The main

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