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Edgar Allen Poe


Edgar Allen Poe (1809 1849) Lecture Notes ... which were mocked by conservative critics The Cask of Amontillado was published in 1846, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allen Poe
  • (1809 1849)
  • Lecture Notes
  • Add to Narrator and Voice

  • Born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Foster child taken in by the Allen
    family (Richmond, VA)
  • Father deserted the family
  • Mother died before Poe was three years old
  • Taken in by foster parents
  • Foster parents begin to like Poe because of his
    scholarship and athletic ability
  • Howeverlater, his foster parents became angry at
    his moodiness and irresponsibility with money

  • Attended the University of Virginia
  • Dropped out with heavy gambling debts
  • Foster father refused to support him any longer
  • The two split completely with no further contact
  • Poe was left penniless

  • Because he was unable to support himself, he
    enrolled in the U.S. Army as a private
  • Using the name "Edgar A. Perry", he claimed he
    was 22 years old, even though he was 18.
  • He chose to end his five year enlistment early,
    and revealed his circumstances and real name.
  • The military told him he could only be discharged
    if he reconciled with his foster father
  • Several months passed / pleas to his foster
    father were ignored

  • His foster mother died in 1829 (Poe had been
    unaware of her sickness).
  • Poe visited the day after her burial, wherein his
    foster father agreed to support Poe's attempt to
    be discharged in order to receive an appointment
    to the United States Military Academy at West
  • Poe was finally discharged on April 15, 1829

  • Poe married his 13-year old cousin, Virginia
  • 1837 moved to New York City and lived with her
  • Poe called her mother (his aunt / mother-in-law)
  • Drank excessively and was always in need of money

  • Poe wrote regularly with increasing success
  • Had many unusual poems and stories, which were
    mocked by conservative critics
  • The Cask of Amontillado was published in 1846,
    during a time when Poe was enduring harsh insults
    from critics.
  • This story, which deals with the idea of revenge,
    might have been Poes way of getting even with
    critics (and possibly his foster father).

  • Virginia became ill with tuberculosis, and later
  • Almost 25 of Americans in the 19th century died
    from this disease.
  • Poe completely broke down as a result of her
  • Two years later, Poe was found on the streets of
    Baltimore delirious, "in great distress, and...
    in need of immediate assistance", according to
    the man who found him, Joseph W. Walker.
  • He was taken to the Washington College Hospital,
    where he died.

  • Poe was never coherent long enough to explain how
    he came to be in his dire condition, and, oddly,
    was wearing clothes that were not his own.
  • Poe is said to have repeatedly called out the
    name "Reynolds" on the night before his death,
    though it is unclear to whom he was referring.
  • Some sources say Poe's final words were "Lord
    help my poor soul.
  • All medical records, including his death
    certificate, have been lost.
  • Newspapers at the time reported Poe's death as
    "congestion of the brain" or "cerebral

The Debate
  • Poes death brought up many questions soon after
  • Was his death a result of alcohol poisoning, or
  • There are scholars that believe both stories, and
    have provided evidence to back up each side.
  • Other items to consider tuberculosis?

Other texts by Poe
  • The Tell-Tale Heart
  • The Black Cat
  • The Masque of the Red Death
  • The Pit and the Pendulum
  • The Raven
  • Eldorado
  • Annabel Lee

Reading Assignment
  • Read Cask of Amontillado starting on pg. 173-179
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