Poe's Inspirations and Role Models

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I have a research paper to do, and I would greatly appreciate any information on a few things that inspired Poe to write how and what he wrote. For instance, I know he wrote "The Raven" for his wife, Lenore. Any other info is greatly appreciated.

-- Anonymous, May 12, 2003


John Allan ,his foster father, is thought to have been the idea behind "The Cask of Amontillado". This because John Allan never treated Poe like a son and was never helpful to him, only sending him away to college. In this story Fortunato has been insulting towards Montressor and Montressor vowed revenge on Fortunato's ignorance. This stroy shows that POe's subconcious has a death wish towards his foster father and wants to seek revenge on the attitude John Allan has put on Poe. I hope this helps, I'm a senior in High School and I came upon your website on accident looking for POe information. Please e-mail me and let me know how this information helped you.

-- Anonymous, May 13, 2003

Sorry to deceive you, and all who are searching for biographical events from Poe's well-CONSCIOUSly created fictions, but Virginia, the wife of the author of "The Raven", was still alive when this poem was written... "Lenore" is a recurrent "lost ideal woman" and theme in Poe's poetry, from his very start... And about "The Cask of Amontillado", for example, if any biographical data must be found out of the well, again NOT unconsciously, we have to identify the victim built in the wall as Poe's new enemy, Dr Thomas Dunn English, since the ironical gossip entered about him in the so-called "Literati" series, as you could find in any serious up-to-date biography... Let's forget the un- or subconscient, and let's go to the facts, to the facts only. Yours sincerely, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, May 13, 2003

One thing that I think that critics almost always overlook is the fact that Poe had been brought up with the expectations and sensibilites of a gentleman which in those days was a distinct class and meant that you were above everyone else. His position in society, however, was never secure, and his benefactor, John Allan, never provided the necessary resources he needed to secure his position in society. In the biographies that I've read, one can clearly infer that Mr. Allan was significantly threatened by his adopted son's burgeoning talents, and set himself to the task of sabotaging his success. But Poe did become a gentleman essentially, even though he was never able to fully assume this role. His biographies describe him as always dressing himself in the clothes of a gentleman, algeit threadbare clothes. He actually describes his general condition in the way he describes the House of Usher: "Its principal feature seemed to be that of an excessive antiquity. The discooration of ages had been great. Minute fungi overspread the whoe exterior, hanging in a fine tangled web-work from the eaves. Yet all this was apart from any extraordinary diapidation. No portion of the masonry had fallen; and there appeared to be a wild inconsistency between its still perfect adaptation of parts, and the crumbling condition of the individual stones. In this there was much that reminded me of the specious totality of old wood-work which has rotted for long years in some neglected vault, with no disturbance from the breath of the external air. Beyond this indication of ectensive decay, however, the fabric gave little token of instability. Perhaps the eye of a scrutinizing observer might have discovered a barely perceptible fissure, which extending from the roof of the building in front, made itw way down the wall in zigzag direction, until it became lost in the sullen waters of the tarn." This is a metaphor, really, for the man himself, really. When he was younger, he was able to sample this lifestyle with all of its attendant status, and the fact that he wan unable acheive this later in life is really the great tradgedy of his life. It cannot be overstated, by the way, how important this was during this time period.

As a consequence, Poe never really quite fit in where ever he happened to find himself. Clearly he had obtained a first rate education and possessed a golden intellect, but he was prevented from putting these to use the way a gentleman would have during his time period.

So, I would submitt that if Poe's position in society had been secure, he would probably be remember as an obscure, but talented editor of some magazine or newspaper (his dream was to be editor of his own paper which he hoped to call The Stylus). As a gentleman, he would never have risked his reputation on the sort of sensationalist tales he is now known for.

His writing can be, in a sense, viewed as a snubb at society. It also demonstrates his desperation and willingness to try just about anything to make a living.

Also there is the notion that a person who falls from status into not having status is worse off than the person who never had status in the first place. Poe never accepted his position, and I think it is fair to say that he was horrified by it. He did what he could do to escape, but as time went on he felt increasingly trapped. I think it is interesting to note that many of his stories deal with something being trapped--Pit and the Pendulum, The Black Cat, Anabel Lee, Tell Tale Heart, and the list goes on. The feeling of being trapped was a state of mind for Poe, and his stories continually go back to this theme.

-- Anonymous, May 13, 2003

I have no idea. I know that he wrote the raven for his wife. Send me something. PLEASE. I LOVE EDGAR ALLAN POE. He is the best writer in the world. HE was 1 of the first writers to get into peoples minds with a story!~!~!

-- Anonymous, April 05, 2004

Send me something. PLEASE. I LOVE EDGAR ALLAN POE. He is the best writer in the world. HE was 1 of the first writers to get into peoples minds with a story!~!~!

-- Anonymous, April 05, 2004

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