Classics English literature: Biographical Analysis of Stories

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Classics English literature: Biographical Analysis of Stories

Edgar Allen Poe: The writer of many writing styles


Thesis statement: Life is itself mysterious, and from the readings of the works of Edgar Allan Poe, it is possible to turn one’s life into appreciation in writing; and here, it is noted that this prolific writer was able to use his experiences to concentrate in genres such as horror, romance and satire

  1. Introduction
  2. Edgar Allen Poe: The writer of many writing styles
  1. Edgar Allen Poe: The Tell-Tale Heart
  1. Edgar Allen Poe: The Cask of Amontillado
    1. Experiences of Edgar Allan Poe
    2. Romance
    3. His horror fiction
    4. Satirical sense in Edgar Allan
    5. Edgar as a character; tormented artist
  2. Conclusion
  3. Works cited


Edgar Allan Poe is a renowned American author of a number of books, an editor, a poet, and a strong literary critic. Largely, he is considered part of the movement in American known as the Romantic movement and he is best recognized for the tales of macabre and mystery. He has a taste of short stories and considered as the inventor of detective fiction genre. Actually, history tells that he was the first to be well known as the American writer who tried to live his means through writing alone and this led to difficulty in life. The following discussion, focuses on the life and more so the experiences of this prolific writer, and analyzes on how it has influenced how he directs his writing. He has many past relationships with major factors of life, and which have helped shape how he writes in his various books, which have characterized his life.

Life is itself mysterious, and from the readings of the works of Edgar Allan Poe, it is possible to turn one’s life into appreciation in writing; and here, it is noted that this prolific writer was able to use his experiences to concentrate in genres such as horror, romance and satire.

Edgar Allen Poe: The writer of many writing styles

  1. a) Edgar Allen Poe: The Tell-Tale Heart

In this story, we see the writer giving an account of a person, who happens also to be the narrator who has insisted that he is sane but that he is suffering from a kind of nervous disease; and that is when he murdered an old man. This murder is calculated, and as we will see in the analysis of this great writer, the theme of death and horror come into play a lot in his books. This kind of analysis occurs in most of the books he has written among other kind of themes, and it only strikes why he intends to concentrate on this theme very much. However, as we will later see, this kind of thinking emanated from his experience as a young person, especially with the death of the persons who were close to him but later died.

Edgar Allen Poe: The Cask of Amontillado

This story has the elements of horror in them coupled with many actions of revenge by the characters. There is also murder where, they become out of calculated moves of friends and foes alike, and this only puts the theme of horror again in this story. Even though there are some other kind of themes present in the story, this particular theme, just as we had noted in the story we discussed earlier gets to be given heightened significance. Some of the actions that are carried by the characters are not investigated, and this only puts a dark shadow on what happens.

Experiences of Edgar Allan Poe

This man has a lot that can narrate why he chooses to direct the short stories to a particular idea, and more so on Romanism. Quinn (ix) quotes, “Although Poe’s critical esteem rises and falls, there has been an unbroken fascination with his curious, tormented life.” This is to mean that what he writes about is not very, far from what he actually is, and tries to put his life as the major source of his writings. For instance, all of the women that he dealt with died, and that includes his mother. Therefore, his writings are not absent with the question as to whether or not there is something between his relationships and the death of the women he has relationships with. For example, poems such as Anabelle, the lake and to my mother highlight his past loves.

His career life as a writer notes that most of his thinking is in the direction of romance as noted earlier, and this as Quinn (60) notes was shaped by his school life. As part of the experience, which started when at school, Quinn (60) quotes of him, “Poe’s early schooling has been colored by romantic stories, based on insecure tradition. This can be seen in one of the famous short stories that Edgar wrote The Cask of Amontillado. In this short story, Poe (11) quotes, “Come…we will go back; your health is precious. You are rich, respected, admired, and beloved; you are happy, as once I was.” This is one of the areas that formed his concentration and here it is noted that it was then shaped by the many women who came into his life, either in his relationship as a man and them being women, or by the care that was given to him by the mother to make his mind to value women as good people.

  1. a) Romance

He had a number of romantic poems that he wrote as well and most of his books were on this direction. Earlier in this discussion, it noted that Edgar was part of the Romantic Movement, and this group tended to validate the strong emotions to become authentic source of some aesthetic experience. As can even be seen in the poems as written by this prolific author, he is seen to place lots and new emphasis on emotions such as trepidation, awe, terror and horror. The group was also aimed at elevating the folk art and the ancient custom to something that can be noted as noble. Here, even in the way that the characters are molded, especially in how he writes his books, the characters are seen to be positioned and conditioned in the form of romantic language and this gives quality to the whole work of the author.

  1. b) His horror fiction

Interestingly, this author is recorded as one of the famous writers who had a genre such as horror fiction and he actually excelled in this area. His horror direction is given significance because of his earlier encounters with deaths especially that of the most loved ones in the life. That is why it is seen that some of the books that he wrote were generally concerning this genre of horrific fiction. As Wisker (51) writes about him, he is acknowledged as the person who originated with the horror genre, such are the crime fiction, and even his tales introduce this to the demonic pledges. Some of his books with this are like the Cask of Amontillado, Living death, body horror, curses and contagion (Wisker, 51). We see this as a sharp contradiction of the earlier discussion we had given as having a notch with the romantic kind of writing, and to some extent; like in The Cask of Amontillado, these two are mixed.

In one of the books from him Great Horror Stories, he highlights some of the areas that he has written. He is regarded by other writers as a master of what is known as the ‘American Gothic horror story’ for his ability to produce a rich boy of the tales regarding macabre and which tried to embody his genius for sort of bizarre incidences. In this book Great Horror Stories, Poe (219) quotes, “A succession of loud and shrill screams, bursting suddenly from the throat of the chained form, seemed to thrust me violently back. For a brief moment I hesitated- I trembled.” Analyzing the above, one note that even a reader can be taken by surprise and with great expectations that the next lines would mean horror, and therefore, he has made a mark in creating horror kind of thinking.

  1. c) Satirical sense in Edgar Allan

Going back to the analysis of Arthur Hobson Quinn, this man is seen as one who had an experience that made him concentrate as well in the areas of satire. Specifically, Quinn (757) writes that it is possible that Edgar had spent some time or a portion of his unfruitful period from the year 1837 to 1838 in the composition of satires. Most of this evidence as noted by Quinn (757) is internal, and he quotes, “The Atlantis begins in the first volume of the Museum and continues in the second. Towards the end occur several passages which are distinctly in Poe’s manner.” The above is to show that Edgar used to correlate what he experienced with what could happen, and then he would turn this into a most satirical sense. In essence, this brings some comical sense and humor that can be appreciated. It makes his works widely read.

The question is whether actually Edgar wrote about satire from his own experience and the truth is that his life was itself satirical and that is why he decided to concentrate on satire. However, what is noted is that he would even satirize the horrific pictures he created in his novels. He had the first foray of horror, which was intended as burlesque, and this being popular, he decided even to satirize it. Generally, for comic effect, he would use elements such as ludicrous extravagance and irony. In a most attempt to liberate the readers of his books, he would put the text in a form that generally is from the cultural conformity, and this is what earned his fame in this sector.

  1. d) Edgar as a character; tormented artist

In relation to what he was writing, we can here note that this prolific writer is like a character to be analyzed, and not so, because he was good at writing, but because most of his writing was in actual sense a description of what he had gone through. Many of the descriptions that he gave in his work want to depict what he was before coming to his fame, and he would blend the characters in his novels and poems to form the experiences that he underwent. Bloomingfield (186) notes that his works are put in a kind of self-reflection. This is good because it makes the work glistening and puts a kind of perpetual struggle to create a powerful beauty in the work. Some of such kind of work is his poem, ‘The Raven’ that is about a lover mourning the death of a person loved very much.

From the above, one can note that this character who was mourning his dead love is in itself Edgar, and one can remember that most of his relationships with women, and one being his mother had died, and it is possible that he wanted to put his experience in this in his writing. The rhyming is even mixed in a way that puts some mesmerism, and as noted earlier, this is a kind of satire. Mills (68) is another writer who believes that generally, Edgar Allan Poe was a tormented artist who used his own experiences to put into writing, and therefore, becoming a shadow character. Mill (68) quotes, “To let the myth of Poe affect a reading of the text, however, would be to succumb to the more romantic configurations of Poe as the tormented artist…” he was the descriptions that he put for the readers to review and assisted by other characters.


For a writer to be described as prolific, he or she must be able to turn the texts into something that can be appreciated by the readers. In this analysis, it is noted that this is what Edgar Allan Poe has turned himself into, and mostly, using his own life experiences and then changing the form to be appreciated. For instance, the genres that the writer has concentrated on include satire, horror and romance. This is not different than what he has witnessed in his life, most of it as he describes it as being characterized by romance and horrific description; for example, the death of his loved ones. Then, on satire, it is noted that he uses the experiences in his life, so as not to appear as though he pities what he underwent, he uses satires to give a beautiful kind of descriptions, but in essence, the characters he uses are for giving quality his intention to use his life.

Works Cited

Bloomingfield, Shelly. Everything Edgar Allan Poe Book: The Life, Times, and Work of a Tormented Genius. Avon: Adams Media Publishers, 2007.

Mills, Bruce. Poe, Fuller, and the Mesmeric Arts: Transition States in the American Renaissance. Missouri: University of Missouri Press, 2006.

Poe, Edgar. Great Horror Stories. Toronto: Dover Publications, Inc, 1991.

Poe, Edgar. The Cask of Amontillado. Minnesota: ABDO Publishing Group, 2008.

Quinn, Arthur. Edgar Allan Poe: A critical Biography. Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.

Wisker, Gina. Horror Fiction: An Introduction. New York: The Continuum Interpersonal Publishing Group, Inc, 2001.


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