View's on Human Nature. ASAP please. : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

What were Poe's views about human nature and society itself? I know he was an alcoholic and most of his thoughts were drug induced but I was just curious to know what he thought about his enviroment.The sooner the information gets to me the better, I have a paper due.

Thank you so much, Roxann :)

-- Anonymous, July 30, 2002


Most of his thoughts were NOT drug induced. That should help. Poe could be a bit naive about human nature despite his stute reasoning powers and understandings of the poetic, romantic mind. Though apolitical and not very religious in the churchgoing sense reading his essays might give you a better view than just reading his gothic tales about wild and haunted minds. "The Man of the Crowd" is a good study of the mystery and anonymnity of urban citizens. Contradictions, the unknown, the ideal and the grotesque were more of interest to his romantic predilections than the ordinary life. I suppose this is not an easy topic therefore. There is no large body of work by Poe on these subjects. You have to derive more from his letters and non-fiction and from biographies. His own nature as poet and analytical thinker is sometimes said to reflect an interesting split in his own character that seems to be a consuming subject. Social subjects reflect mostly his own harsh experiences. "KIng Pest" reflects how he saw himself and his wife as opposed to the world that kept him from success and the recognition he deserved. In that tale, the hero is reduced to a dwarf jester consumed with bitter resentment then vengeance while the royal court is tyrannical, repressive and very, very stupid. And it is all very well explained as a fable about his literary life and hardships.

Other articles have gone over Poe as the southerner, the progressive American, the man part of the builkding of an American culture, the critic of modernity and science but lover of discovery and exploration beyond the common and everyday. Perhaps poets tend to be extravagant, brilliant and self-centered more than the prophets that society often sees them as.

-- Anonymous, July 30, 2002

Moderation questions? read the FAQ