Edgar Allan Poe’s life experiences had a major impact on the topics and themes of his writing. Edgar Allan Poe lived a very heartbroken, dejected, short life compared by today’s standards. One theme that Edgar wrote about often in his stories and poems was death. He wrote about that topic because most everyone he loved or cared for died. Another prevalent topic in his writing was the theme of revenge. A recurring topic in his literature is the alcoholism. He wrote about that because in real life he was an alcoholic and drunk for a lot of his life. Probably the event In Edgar Allan Poe’s life that affected and impacted him the most was the death of his wife Virginia. That was the basis of many of his stories.
Edgar Allan Poe constantly mentions death in his writing. In “The Raven,” Poe’s wife, Virginia, has died. Poe just cannot imagine life without his wife. He is so overcome with grief that some believe he hallucinates about the raven in this story. In the story, the raven taunts him, repeating “Never more” to all of his pleas. This topic, death, also connects to a time early in Poe’s life when his parents died. Poe experienced a lot of death, even early in life. Because Edgar Allan Poe lost his mom and step-mom at a young age, he became very depressed. This was aided when the love of his life, Virginia also died.
In the story, “The Cask of Amontillado,” Poe’s emotions show the most. In “The Cask of Amontillado,” a man, named Fortunato, insulted a very powerful man named Montresor. Montresor wants revenge and says, “nemo me impune lacessit.” In other words, “No one insults me without punishment.” As they walk along a hallway to the dungeon, Montresor hints at his plot. However, Fortunato is too drunk to notice. Montresor then chains Fortunato to a wall. After doing so, Montresor bricks it up, burying him alive. This story shows the prominent topic of revenge in Edgar Allan Poe’s stories and poems.
Because Edgar Allan Poe was an alcoholic, it was a common theme in his poems and stories. An example of the influence of alcohol is “The Black Cat.” Here, Poe writes about committing gruesome acts while he is intoxicated. He also admits in this masterpiece that he has an alcohol abuse problem by restating it multiple times. An example of this is when Poe says, “But my disease grew upon me –for what disease is like Alcohol!” Edgar Allan Poe related “The Black Cat” to his own life experiences because he had an addiction to alcohol in real life.
Though Edgar Allan Poe showed many emotions, his depression held a constant grip on his mind. Losing so much caused Poe to end up bitter and twisted. Another of Poe’s strong emotions was anger, leading him to seek revenge. He got his revenge through stories. Poe created fictional characters who became victims of his imagination. By that I mean that he would take all of that anger and sorrow that he had built up in his soul and express it through writing, and more often than not, bad things happened to the characters he created. Although Edgar Allen Poe’s life was relatively short, what he experienced was more than most do in an entire lifetime. Edgar Allan Poe’s life and stories represented death, revenge, torture, grief, anguish, sadness, insanity, disease, and love. Edgar was an unusual man to say the least, but he wrote about the most deadly scary things that are in the back of our minds when we walk into a dark room or turn a corner in that erie basement many of us have, and in that way he stays with us. Edgar Allen Poe’s life experiences had a major impact on the topics and themes of his writing.
One of the most common themes in Edgar Allen Poe’s poems and stories relating to death are “The Black Cat,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” ” Cast of Amontillado,” “Annabel Lee” and ” The Raven”. They are some examples that empahsis this. “The Raven” is a poem dedicated to his wife who died very young. ” ‘Prophet!’ said I, ‘thing of evil-prophet still, if bird or devil!-‘” This in my opinion relates to how he did not know many things. Wether they were good or bad, he just knew what they were. Although Edgar Allen Poe only lived for 40 years, he will always be remembered and studied as one of the greatest American Writers of all time.