Edgar Allen Poe had a painful family life, which majorly effected him, and was the basis for his unique writing style. Poe’s family varied over time, and each generation left a different impact on his life. First, his biological family left him confused about love. Second, his foster family withheld so much from him leaving him deprived. Third, his marriage life threw his life into deep depression. Poe’s family life was the basis for several of his literary works and effected his life greatly. First of all, Poe had a very unfortunate childhood (Schopper).
His parents, David and Elizabeth Poe, were very poor and could barely make a living with both of them working. He had an older brother and a younger sister, who he rarely knew during his life because he was seperated from them. His father was constantly drunk, and disappeared as Poe was a child. His mother died of Tuberculosis when he was only 2 years old. Bernard Schopper, author of “The Dark Genious of the Short Story,” states that these unfortunate events left Poe feeling very confused and victimized because he was never given a solid home life. Poe’s poor childhood left an impact on literary works he would later create.
The Pit and the Pendulum is a story about a man who recalls various tortures, which expresses the way that Poe felt victimized (Donahue). J. A. Harrison, editor of “Complete works of Edgar Allen Poe,” features a story known as The Premature Burial which tells of a man who is victimized by his family, just as Poe was. The Cask of Amantillado, is a story of a man tortured over his desire for wine that he could never get, which also represents Poe’s feelings of victimization. Poe’s childhood is shown in many of his published works. Poe’s distressing childhood left a large impact on his life. Poe had no knowledge of a true home life.
Because of his drunken father, he too was thrown into alcoholism (Schopper). Poe’s family was unable to supply the love he needed, so, as a result, he suffered a severe depression during his life. Poe’s original family left disastrous effects on him. Second of all, Poe’s adolescence was very neglectful. He was taken in by John and Francis Allen, but he never became their son. John Allen refused to adopt him, because he felt Poe was not priveledged enough to deserve the family fortune. John Allen sent Poe to college, but ceased payments after he heard of Poe’s literary works, forcing him to drop out.
These incidents secluded Poe, giving him a jealous, revengeful spirit. Poe wrote several short stories that are based upon this part of his life. The Black Cat has a theme that all men have the ability to be evil, and this is the way that Poe saw his foster father. A similar theme is in The Tall Tale Heart. Poe’s revengeful spirit is shown through The Hop-Frog which shows his desire to get even with John (Kantner). The Cask of Amontillado also shows Poe’s desire to get even with his foster father. These works represent the way Poe feels about his adolescence. Poe was effected in many ways because of his disjoined adolescence.
He slowly went into a deeper depression. Poe began to gamble to try to make up for loss debts, which put him into deeper financial troubles. He had a lack of care, and untrustworthy spirit as well. Poe’s adolescence had a major effect on the way Poe lived. Third of all, Poe’s marital family was very depressing as well. He moved in with his aunt, from which he wasted several years (Schopper). Later he married his thirteen year old cousin, which created a very odd marriage. His wife soon died of tuberculosis. Poe lived the rest of his life as a secluded drunk, and he eventually died of alcoholism.
Poe’s marital life was also painful just as his earlier life had been. Poe wrote several poems that were based upon his marriage life. Lenore is a poem written by Poe that expresses his passion for his wife in a literary way. The Raven is a tragic poem that speaks of Poe’s lost love as his wife was on her deathbed. Annabel Lee is also a poem that expresses his love for his wife (Harrison). He also wrote poems that spoke of his depression like I’m drinking ale today, which talks about Poe escaping reality. These poems show a lighter side of Poe that were based upon his marriage life.
Several harsh effects came out of this time in his life. Poe’s continual depression hit a peak. He continued to drink to hide from reality. Dwight Thomas, creator of “A Documentary Life of Edgar Allen Poe,” mentioned that Poe was eventually led to the grave because of alcoholism. These harsh effects were all based on his marriage life. Edgar Allen Poe had an extremely painful family life. His original family left him feeling victimized. His foster family left him feeling neglected. His marriage family left him feeling depressed. Poe’s torminous family life was the basis for several of his works and effected him for the rest of his life.