why does poe write morbid, grotesque stories

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im supposed to write about why poe writes morbid stories, and to use his real life as a example. help is greatly appreciated

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2003


Edgar allan poe wrote so morbidly due to his many struggles through out his life. having seen death first hand and also having to deal with a very depressed state through out the 1830s. Poe also had a fasinacion about death and the decaying of bodies. his mind bruted over the decaying process and the pain inflicted when death strikes. Poe enjoyed the thought of being barried alive. Well not enjoyed just feared it to such a degree that if he didn't use it in his writtings he would literaly go mad. Poe was also an avid user of opium, along with the occasional useage of cocaine. the drugs impacted his life tremendously. hope i have helped some.

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2003

The above answer is a bit extreme. Before going to Poe's personal fascination with ghostly atmosphere and tough life, also remember the Gothic genre was in recent full swing though it would not be as popular in the the generation after Poe. Lots of of would be Stephen kings were writing materail much more grotesque and extreme than anything Poe would have liked. Poe used less gore, less supernatural stock elements, less wild comparisons and descriptions. He was lean, artistic and restrained and more vague metaphoric although he stuck to the Gemran conventions in general.

Check out the tongue in cheek aspects of "The Premature Burial" which is no more insane or patholgical than "Tales from the Crypt". Probably much less so. He just happens to be a more powerful and profound writer.

-- Anonymous, April 13, 2003

I think that another factor was the fact that people of Poe's time were far less insulated against death than we are. There were no antibiotics, and not much sanitation; epidemics were rife. There was no enbalming, which meant that corpses and graveyards stank (hence the custom of flowers at funerals), and premature burial was a real possibility. Average lifespan for men was about 55. Women frequently died in childbirth, and many children didn't live to reach their teens. Poe lived in a world where death was ever-present, and he was too sensitive not to be affected by this.

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2003

Actually, Poe is using the "horror" as a device to make you laugh at the axiomatic beliefs that he is attacking, sense certainty, "Transcendentalism", and other various forms of Romanticism. He is at the same time consciously making fun of the horror stories of such lunatics as Novalis and E.T.A. Hoffmann. Poe states in the preface to his "Tales" that he will identify the cause of the terror that he depicts and show you to whence it leads. Please see my new website www.therealpoe.com for a more detailed answer. Poe is a cultural warrior for beauty and an intelligence agent for patriotic circles in the United States, associated with John Quincy Adams, James Fenimore Cooper, and Lafayette, who were fighting Romantic agents deployed by British imperial circles, who wanted to corrupt the population, as today, with Romantic horror stories and other banal trash. This Poe fought in his own inimitable and ironic way. He wanted you to be horrified at his enemies' way of thinking.

-- Anonymous, October 26, 2003

Your all stupide

-- Anonymous, January 31, 2004

no nincomppooooooooops

-- Anonymous, April 18, 2004

Dave Atkins' response was brilliant and very thought-provoking. He should have spelled "your" as "you're." It is a contraction of "you are." Also, "stupid" does not contain an "e" at the end.

The response by bcnbvncbvn puzzled me for many hours. Then I realized that the word "nincompoop" has an extra "p" and seven extra "o"s. How careless of me not to have noticed sooner.

Lisa, no one alive today knows what Poe thought or what caused his writing to be about so-called morbid events. The mental associations that occurred in his mind were internal and not available for examination by other people.

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2004

Thank you, Peter.

-- Anonymous, November 30, 2004

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