Impact of Literature on Society

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Morrow 1

Edgar Allan Poe

Before you read this paper, keep in mind that the name “Poe” brings to mind the images of murderers and madmen, premature burials, and mysterious women who return from the dead.

Who was Edgar Allan Poe? “Poe” was born in Boston on January 19, 1809, to David and Elizabeth Poe. He had one brother Henry, and a sister Rosalie. Edgar was only two years old when his mother died in 1811. Due to the prior separation with his father, Henry went to live with his grandparents while Edgar was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. John Allan. His sister Rosalie was taken in by another family. Edgar was lucky though, ending up living with a successful family in a good area with good schools. Before leaving England, he learned Latin and French, as well as math and history. He finished his schooling in America.

At age seventeen, he attended the University of Virginia. Even though his father was well off, he only provided Edgar with a third of what he needed. Within less than a year, due to the dept brought on from drinking to much, he dropped out of school. Two years later after joining the army, Mrs. Allan died. Poe had no Morrow 2

friends, no job, and was in financial trouble. John Allan died in 1834 and did not mention Edgar anywhere in his will. “The Manuscript Found in a Bottle,” won him a job as editor of a newspaper in 1835. In 1836, at age 27, Edgar married his fourteen year old cousin Virginia.

His first volume of short stories, “Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque,” were published in 1839. In 1845, the publication of, “The Raven,” made Poe a household name. He was famous enough to draw large crowds to lectures, and he was beginning to demand better...
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