Explain Poe's portrayl of women in his writing

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It has been said that Poe's portrayl of women in his stories can be explained to the loss he felt of loosing both his wife and his mother to tuberculosis. Can you give me some journal articles where the author argues this point?

-- Anonymous, October 07, 2001


Virginia's illness was rather late in Poe's career and he did not survive her by much. It is just that hers was the most horrific pattern of a series of losses throughout his life. Stories that you would THINK applied to Virginia most perfectly instead were based on Poe's disastrous prior love life or loss of loved ones(mother, brother, aunt-mother, Mrs. Stannard, rejection by Royster). Indeed domestic bliss, tainted by poverty and hardship, brightened up some of Poe's works and made his stock in trade more detached for a while. At her death, despair, bitterness and revolt surged back in for a grieving period not accomplished by the time of his own death.(Annabel Lee, To Annie, Hop Frog).

The uncomfortable, obsessive haunting figures of women probably goes back straight back to the death of his mother when he was too young to really feel or deal with it. In fact, he seems to regard her memory as remote and her less a mother than the surrogates(Mrs. Allen, Virginia, Mrs. Clemm)he clung to so passionately. His choice(typical for his age) as the ideal poetic theme was young beauty dying. That seemed to touch upon an area he himself did not probe too deeply. The gloomy, fantatically morbid image one might foster of "Raven" Poe somberly penning these images is highly exaggerated.

poedecoder.com and ww.eapoe.org have some good articles which might be of use, the later containing journal articles from Poe Studies.

-- Anonymous, October 08, 2001

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