The writings of Edgar Allen Poe vs. Stephen King.

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, Horror fiction, Stephen King Pages: 5 (1259 words) Published: August 4, 2003
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To analyze and compare and contrast the writing styles of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe you must look at each one of their backgrounds and forms of writing. Stephen Edwin King is one of the most popular and best selling writers of today. Stephen King's horror can be appealing, as it strikes everyone from Edgar Allan Poe to Chuck Berry (Stine Vol. 26 238)

King is a prolific and popular author of horror fiction. In his works, King blends elements of the traditional gothic tale with those of the modern psychological thriller, detective, and science fiction genres. His fiction features colloquial language, clinical attention to physical detail and emotional states, and realistic contemporary settings that help make supernatural elements convincing. King's wide popularity attests to his talent for creating stories in which he emphasizes the inability to rationalize certain facets of evil in seemingly commonplace situations (Marowski Vol. 37 1).

Stephen King also incorporates the feelings of optimism and his own personal events into his writings. In addition to these ideas, King uses plain imagery and puts it into

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practical everyday places. He also uses symbols and unique characterization (Hegarty 5-6).

Since King's writing style, characterization, and structure isn't extraordinarily good he must find something else that will keep the reader interested. He does this by writing about things that are important to us such as life, family, death, friends, failure, and success. He writes about fears that are in everyone, such as death, animals, and the unknown, so that he can get into the readers head.

"To find the secret of his success, you have to compare King to Poe" (Stine Vol. 26 241).

Two famous writers have ruled the world of death and horror with incredible triumph, both blessed with the talent of bring each reader into his or her own subconscious fears. Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King are the masters of their expertise, set apart with thoughts that set higher principles in the profession of writing. Both authors had a significant impact on the world of literature (Gmoser 1).

Stephen Edwin King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. He married Tabitha Spruce in January of 1971 (Stephen King: The Man 1). Stephen and Tabitha had three

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children. The King's lived in Bangor until the moved to Maine at the end of the summer of 1973 due to Stephen's

mother's sickness. During the time that Stephen was writing "Salem's Lot" his mother died of cancer. He then published "Carrie" in the spring of 1974 before moving to Boulder, Colorado, where Stephen wrote "The Shining". The King family then returned to Maine where King finished writing "The Stand" and wrote "The Dead Zone" (Stephen King: The Man 2). "Many of King's works have been adapted for the screen" (Stephen King: The Man 3).

Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston on January 19, 1809 and died October 7,1849 in Baltimore. "He was best known for his poems and short fiction. He virtually created the detective story and perfected the psychological thriller." (Gmoser 1) His psychological thrillers have influenced many writers. Poe moved to Richmond in 1835 where he married his cousin, Virginia, who was thirteen years old (American Literature Research and Analysis Web Site 1). Poe was raised in a drinking society and a fondness for alcohol appeared to run in his family. In addition to his drinking habits, opium has also been and issue of suspicion.

King was also an alcoholic and a cocaine addict. Between these two drugs King's life began to go downhill,

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and his writings showed it. During this time King wrote "Misery" and "Tommyknockers", both were about psychotic

people and the taking over of ones mind, which was what the alcohol and drugs were doing to Stephen. However, King's wife and friends supported him and helped him to come clean. With the help of...


Cited: "American Literature Research and Analysis Web Site." (April 2000): n.pag. Online. Internet. 3 April 2002. Available http://itech.fgcu.edu/faculty/wohlpart/alra/PoeFall.htm#third
Beacham, Walton. Beacham 's Popular Fiction. Vol. 2. "Stephen King." Washington D. C.: Beacham Publishing, 1986. 747-757.
Gmoser, Stefan. "Poe, Edgar Allan." (10-February-2001): n.pag. Online. Internet. 3 April 2002. Available http://bau2.uibk.ac.at/sg/poe/Bio.html
Hegarty, Emily "The Fear that Fame Will Fail: Stephen King 's Canonical Anxiety." (1996): n.pag. Online. Internet. 3 April 2002. Available http://members.aol.com/Eahegarty/king.htm
Magill, Frank N., ed. Magill 's Survey of American Literature. Vol. 3. "Stephen King." New York: Marshall Cavendish Co., 1991. 1067-1071.
---. Masterplots II. Vol. 5. "Carrie." Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Salem Press, 1994. 2060-2064.
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