Edgar Allen Poe Essay

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Edgar Allen Poe Edgar Allen Poe's life problems had a profound impact on his various short stories and poems. Poe's problems started seemingly right after birth. His biological father, David Poe, Jr., was an alcoholic and often abused Poe (Encyclopedia Americana, 274-275). Shortly after the age of two, Poe's mother died. He only had memories of her vomiting and being carried away by "sinister men dressed in black", as he put it (American Writers III). There has been some speculation as to how this affected Poe. According to Marie Bonaparte, a student of Sigmund Freud, his mother's death caused many mental disorders. Many agree that it warped him until the day he died. After his mother's death, Poe was taken into the home of his …show more content…
The biggest of Poe's life problems was alcoholism, which resulted in his being fired from over twelve journalism jobs. When his wife died in 1847, Poe resorted even further to alcohol.

"I had never swallowed opium before. Laudanum and morphine I had occasionally used, and about them should have had no reason to hesitate…I would take a very small dose in the first instance. I would repeat it until I should find an abatement of the fever." This passage, from Poe's short story, Life in Death, suggests Poe's drug use. It is known that for medical purposes, Poe used the drug opium, which was, at the time, an over-the-counter drug. It is speculated that he may have developed an abuse problem. The opium caused some side effects, and Poe may have used alcohol to try and counteract them, and possibly took opium to counteract the effects of alcohol, such as the fever mentioned in the previous passage.

It was extremely likely that Poe had various neurotic problems throughout life; neurotic instability was a trait that ran in his family (American Writers III). Marie Bonaparte suggested that he suffered from an Oedipus complex, which typically results in neurotic disorders in adult life (American Writers III). Alcohol, and possibly drugs, helped Poe to escape from these neurotic problems, but often they just compounded them, and possibly caused others.

After his wife's death, Poe was diagnosed as having a brain

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