Poe's use of Mental Insanity in his short stories and poems are brought upon by what?

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Poe often refers to mental insanity and instability in many of his poems and short storie charchters. What is this brought upon by. I have to write an English paper on this topic and its due April 8, 2002. I need major help, I've found some info so far, but I dont have nearly enough! Why does Poes use a lot of Mental Illness in his works? I need to figure out a really good thesis statement for this paper, can someone please help me with that? Thanks.

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2002


Start with the literary saources, gothic dark romanticism, that focuses on altered and alternate forms of awareness. Different, artistically and spirtually groundbreaking viewpoints that soar betyongd the ordinary and conventional. Evil and madness help get beyond the socially restricted, over rationalized world. Note that Poe decries rationalization of poems and music per se. Didacticism is the most annoying sin of "mediocre" artists. The strong effect, the moment of suspension between reality and something else in a moment of disassociation or fear is what the romantic moody heros of Poe actually seek out.(Ms Found in a Bottle, Pym novel). Byron, Coleridge and other founders and contemporaries of the romantic movement influenced and came before Poe.

That's brief, but OK a kid wearing a bowtie and crewcut is not a gen x rock star. Poe's own predilections. His sense of apartness and genius, his tragedies and losses, his real predilection for exploring art through these states, his health problems related to poverty, alcoholism made him naturally a part of the movement. The alcoholic influenced state accounts for some stories of irrational behavior(The Black Cat). Heart stoppages, sleep problems. Madness though is mostly a tool to push the envelope, to enter the extreme borderlands of consciousness rather than merely use supernatural elements, which, if you look carefully, are not that common in Poe. Was Poe crazy? No. No more than Stephen King who defends the horror craft very well in "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft" without any of the deeper philosophical purpose that employs.

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2002

well if you look at the rest of his works, he seems to like death a lot too. I mean, people like me write about the mental insanity of various classmates in the middle of english class and get threatened with detentions... my creative genius hindered by the evil corporate school system. bah.

you might want to add that as a footnote, ya know "maybe he was just weird". yes, I know, it's probably a stupid thing to do.

a few minutes ago I was reading about Poe's weird love life on eapoe.org or whatever - that might've caused him a bit of mental anguish. that and his binge drinking habit towards the end of his life.

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2002

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