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Edgar Allan Poe and His Works

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Essay title: Edgar Allan Poe and His Works



FEBRUARY 14, 2007



In this paper, every OPINION from someone else has been acknowledged in a parenthetical citation. I realize that the mere presence of a parenthetical citation does not avoid plagiarism. If I have used the exact words, phrases, clauses, or sentences of someone else, I have enclosed that information in quotation marks. If I have paraphrased the opinions of someone else, I have not enclosed the paraphrased portions in quotation marks; but I have stated those opinions in my own words. I have also introduced the paraphrase and have used a parenthetical citation to acknowledge the source.

ALL FACTUAL INFORMATION (common knowledge or uncontested knowledge), though not credited with a parenthetical citation, has been stated in my sentence structure. I have not used anyone else’s organization of the factual information.



Thesis: Edgar Allan Poe was one of the most influential, yet misunderstood writers in American Literature.

I. His Early Life

A. His Adoption

B. His Education

II. His Later Life

A. Books Published

B. Military Life

III. The Conclusion of His Life

A. His Marriage

B. His Death

IV. His Works

V. What Others Thought Of Him



Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer, known as a poet and critic but most famous as the first master of the short story form, especially tales of the mysterious and macabre. Since his early death, the literary qualities of Poe's writings have been disputed, but his works have remained popular and he influenced many major American and European writers.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Poe was orphaned in his early childhood and was raised by John Allan, a successful businessman of Richmond, Virginia. Taken by the Allan family to England at the age of six, Poe was enrolled in a private school. Upon returning to the United States in 1820, he continued to study in private schools. He attended the University of Virginia for a year, but in 1827 his foster father, displeased by the young man's drinking and gambling, refused to pay his debts and forced Poe to work as a bookkeeper. (Anderson, 9-22).

Poe quit this job, which infuriated John Allan. Poe then left and moved to Boston. There he published his first book, Tamerlane and Other Poems. After this, Poe enlisted in the U.S. Army and served a two-year term. Poe published his second book of poems, Al Araaf in 1829. Poe then reunited with Allan, who obtained him an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy. After only a few months at the academy, Poe was dismissed for neglect of duty, and John Allan disowned him permanently (Anderson, 23-34).

Poe's third book, Poems, was published in 1831. One year later, he moved to Baltimore, where he



moved in with his aunt and her 11-year-old daughter, Virginia Clemm. The following year his tale “A MS. Found in a Bottle” won a contest sponsored by the Baltimore Saturday Visitor. In 1835, Poe received a job as editor of the Southern Literary Messenger. He held this job until 1837. In 1836, he married his young cousin, Virginia (Anderson, 35-44). Throughout the next decade, much of which was marred by his wife's long illness, Poe worked as an editor for various periodicals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and in New York City. In 1847, Virginia died and Poe himself became ill; his disastrous addiction to liquor and his alleged use of drugs, may have contributed to his early

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