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Influencing Poe

  • Date Submitted: 05/17/2016 08:09 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63 
  • Words: 1398
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Poe went through many hardships throughout his life, including alcoholism, being taken into a new home within three years of his birth (Poe’s Life), deaths in his family, his foster father refusing to give him money for college, having to burn his furniture to keep warm (Poe’s Life), and having manic-depression. Fortunately, he was able to put his dark past to good use. All of the terrible things that happened around him influenced his morbid, haunting literature with some of the most bizarre characters in any stories ever written. Even the rough times of others around him inspired Poe to write stories about them. If the tragedies in his life never happened, he never would’ve started writing before the age of thirteen (Poe’s Life). Society would’ve never received some of the best and most popular stories today. We may have never even received popular horror stories we have now, or twist-endings, detective fiction, or even the science-fiction genre. Poe might not have become the legend he is today.
There was a great deal of death throughout Poe’s life. So much so, that a lot of his writing is based off of these deaths surrounding him. His mom, brother, and foster mom all died of tuberculosis (Poe’s Life). This impacted the writings of multiple stories. One in specific is “The Masque of the Red Death”. The story is about Prince Prospero trying to escape death (in particular, the red death) but it eventually catches up to him, and kills him. This parallels him trying to escape the ‘red death’ but people continue to die around him of the same disease: tuberculosis. Many critics speculate that the red death symbolizes tuberculosis, as they have similar symptoms: profuse bleeding, malaise, and dizziness. “Blood was its Avatar and its seal—the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution.” Poe married his cousin Virginia, whom he was so devoted to that he wrote her a Valentine...


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