How does Poe's life relate to his writing about insanity? URGENT!! : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

In specific, in the stories, The Raven and The Tell Tale Heart, how does his writing in these stories about insanity relate to his life?

-- Anonymous, March 06, 2001


Poe's writings are not products of an inventive imagination, but of a traumatized and horror stricken mind. Since the beginning of Poe's life, he was plagued with ill luck and separtion through death and abandonment. For example, David Poe abandon the young family when Edgar was only 2 years old. Edgar's mother died that same year.

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2001

It may shatter the illusion somewhat to report for the thousandth time that Poe was sane, though troubled by exterior tragedies and interior sensitivity. He might have been intrigued by insanity through his own scientific interest and self-analysis, the demons lurking within the heart and the allure of illusions to the romantic mind. He often was driven to the edge by poverty, failure, personal loss, but in his writings he had control over his emotions.

The Raven specifically shows one big hangup of Poe's. He couldn't shake loose from the dearly departed- though he dearly wanted to and rather avoided openly discussing his unhealed, incomplete bereavement process. the Tell-Tale Heart,like the Imp of the Perverse highlights Poe's type of excitability, like a malicious, self-destructive rage as seen in some alcoholics- though Poe never was violent or crazy. he recognized and was equally repelled by this trait in himself. When he reviewed other poets like Elizabeth Barrett he could be both exquisitely complimentary and ruthlessly critical, the "tomahawk" man. Barrett said it was like being reviewed by two people at opposite viewpoints, politely thinking him somewhat mad.

-- Anonymous, May 02, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ