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EDGAR ALLEN POE Edgar Allen Poe is mainly known for his personal life rather than his great ability to write short stories. Rumors include his problem with alcoholism and drug addiction. In reality, though, Edgar Allen Poe had a talent for writing stories of horror and suspense, and also for creating Americas short story form. Edgar Allen Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 19, 1809. His father, David Poe, was from a Baltimore family.
He was an actor barely making a living and a heavy drinker. Poe's mother, Elizabeth Arnold Poe, was also in the acting business. She became a widow at the age of eighteen. Two years after his birth, she died of tuberculosis. When his mother died, Poe was adopted by John Allen. Edgar had gotten his middle name from him.
His brother and younger sister were sent off to two different families. In 1815, John Allen moved his family to England. While there, Poe was sent to private schools. After living in England for several years, the Allens moved back to Richmond, Virginia. When Poe reached his teenage years, tensions developed between Mr. Allen and himself.
The Allens were very wealthy, but Mr. Allen disapproved of Edgar's actions, so he decided that he would not inherit any of the family's wealth. In the spring of 1826, Poe entered the University of Virginia. John Allen did not support his tuition well enough, so Poe turned to gambling to get money. Finally, after months of disputes, Poe left the Allens home and went out on his own. In May of 1827, Poe enlisted in the army as a common soldier under the name Edgar A.
Perry. He was stationed on Sullivan's Island in Charleston Harbor for over a year. Poe quickly rose to the rank of regimental sergeant major. After a while, he got tired of the same daily routine involved in military life. He ended up getting discharged for gross neglect of duty and disobedience of orders (Byers 364). After being discharged from the Army, Poe went back to Richmond to visit the Allens.
After having another dispute with Mr. Allen, he moved to Baltimore to live with his Aunt Maria Clear and his cousin, Virginia. He was unemployed and trying to find work. In 1831, Poe decided to seek employment and make his living by writing. He published one of his first works, Poems by Edgar Allen Poe. Failing to get attention with is poems, he decided to start writing short stories.
Poe competed in a contest by the Phil-Saturday Courier for the best short story in 1831. He did not win the prize. This made Poe very determined to start a new project. He decided to plan a series of tales told by members of a literary group. He found no publisher for his stories, but still entered another contest again in June of 1835. This time, he sent one poem and six stories.
His story, Ms. Found in a Bottle, won. He received one hundred dollars for it. Through the influence of one of the judges, John P. Kennedy, Poe became employed as an editor of the Southern Literary Messenger, published in Richmond.
Under Poe's editorship, the Messengers circulation rose from 500 to 3500. While in Richmond, Poe married his cousin, Virginia, who was not quite fourteen years old. He was eventually fired from the Messenger in January 1837 because of his drinking problem. Poe then went to New York, where he was very unsuccessful. In the summer of 1838, he moved to Philadelphia.
While there, he worked as an editor of both Burton's Gentlemen's Magazine and Grahams Magazine. He entered another contest and won one hundred dollars for his story The Gold Bug. Even though he won this prize, he moved back to New York and found a job as an assistant editor for the Evening Mirror. This was where The Raven first appeared on January 29, 1845.
Even though the poem was a great success and got published all over the country, Poe still did not get much recognition from his poems. The year of 1845 was a lucky year for Poe. He published a collection of his tales and an edition of his poems named The Raven and Other Poems. He then became the editor of the weekly Broadway Journal. In January of 1848, sadness struck Poe. His wife Virginia had died of a sickness she had been battling for months.
Poe quickly sunk deeper and deeper into depression and began drinking heavily. After delivering a lecture in Richmond, Poe went back to Baltimore. He was found semiconscious on the streets. No one had known what he had been doing previous this incident. He never recovered, and died on Sunday morning, October 7 th, in Washington College Hospital. The general types of works that Edgar Allen Poe wrote were mainly short stories and some poems.
Poe was the first writer to recognize that the short story was a different kind of fiction than the novel and the first to insist that, for a story to have a powerful effect on the reader, every single detail in the story should contribute to that effect (Magill 1643). Two of Poe's stories that I enjoy the most are The Fall of the House of Usher and The Tell-Tale Heart. The Fall of the House of Usher was a short story published in 1839. It is often said that this story is Poe's best known and most popular story. In this story, the narrator visits his insane friend, Roderick Usher.
Ushers house is huge and gloomy. His twin sister, Madeline, gets sick and dies. The narrator and Usher place her in a tomb in the basement of Ushers house. What they do not realize is that she is still barely alive. Usher keeps hearing sounds over the next couple of days. The seventh day after Madeline's death, a bad storm appears.
The narrator and Usher open the door of the narrators room and Madeline falls on Usher. They both end up dying. The narrator then leaves the house. As he rides away, the house collapses to the ground. The Tell-Tale Heart was also a short story published in 1843. The story is told in the first-person by the killer himself, who has been locked up in either an insane asylum or a prison for the crime he committed.
He begins by arguing that he is not insane and that the way the he killed the old man was the sensible way to do it. He explains to the reader that he loved the old man, but not his evil eye. He says that when the eye fell on him, his blood ran cold, so he decided to kill the man and rid himself of the eye forever. So the narrator kills the old man, dismembers all of his body parts in the bathtub, and sticks the remains under the floorboards.
Afterwards, the police come to check on a scream that has been reported to them. The narrator explains that he keeps hearing the old mans heart beating, but in reality, it is his own. By the end of the story, the narrator gives himself away to the police, which were sitting right on top of the floorboards where the body was hidden. The madness of the narrator in this story is similar to the madness of other Poe characters who long to escape the curse of time and morality but find they can do so only by a corresponding loss of the self a goal they both seek with eagerness and try to avoid with terror (Magill 1648).
Poe had developed short-fiction as a genre that ended up having a major impact on American Literature and publishing throughout the 19 th century (Magill 1810). His stories and criticism have been models and guides for writers in this characteristically American genre up to the present time (Magill 1810). The evidence in this report made me come to the conclusion that Edgar Allen Poe is the father of the short story form.
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