Edgar Allan Poe's Death

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, Wine, Temperance movement Pages: 3 (935 words) Published: February 26, 2014
LITERARY ANALYSIS ON POE’S DEATH1

LITERARY ANALYSIS ON POE’S DEATH
RADFORD UNIVERSITY
THOMAS HOUGH
12-5-2013

LITERARY ANALYSIS ON POE’S DEATH2

Abstract
In this paper I will talk about two of the ways people believe that Edgar Allan Poe died. Because Edgar Allan Poe was a drinker many people believe he died as a result of drunkenness. Others believe that Poe died due to the fact that he had rabies. I will talk about those two theories of his death from two different peoples point of view.

LITERARY ANALYSIS ON POE’S DEATH3

Edgar Allan Poe died on October 7, 1849 at Washington College Hospital. All medical records, documents and even Poe’s death certificate have been lost. No one knows even if it ever existed, but what people do know is the many types of theories about how he died. Many people believe in “The Alcohol Theory” of his death. This is the theory most people think about when they discuss his death. Everyone who has ever read any of his stories could easily tell he was an excessive drinker. There are a lot more verified facts and pieces of evidence that showed he died from alcohol poisoning. When Poe was taken to the hospital there was no evidence of any animal bite or scratches or any sign that he had come in contact with rabies at all. One of Poe’s drinking companions was Thomas Reid who admitted that both of them engaged in wild “frolics” but that Poe never went beyond the point of being so drunk that he was unresponsive. Some people believe severe susceptibility to alcohol and became drunk after one glass of wine or a couple beers. Poe usually only drank during difficult periods in his life. He sometimes went several months at a time without drinking any alcohol.

Adding even more confusion about the frequency of Poe’s use of alcohol was his membership in the Sons of Temperance at the time of his death. The Sons of Temperance was a brotherhood of...

References: Francis, R. A. (2009). The Final Days of Edgar Allan Poe: Clues to an Old Mystery Using 21st Century Medical Science. OMEGA--Journal of Death and Dying, 60(2), 165-173.
New York Times (1996). Poe 's death is rewritten as case of rabies. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/1996/09/15/us/poe-s-death-is-rewritten-as-case-of-rabies-not-telltale-alcohol.html.
Aphrodite (2011). The influence of Alcohol on Edgar Allan Poe. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.studymode.com/essays/The-Influence-Of-Alcohol-And-Drugs-686249.html.
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