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Edgar Allan Poe -The Life of an American Writer-

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1 Edgar Allan Poe -The Life of an American Writer-

2 Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe is a famous American writer of short stories and poetry. He is most well known for his dark, gothic style of writing.

3 Historical Facts About His Life
Born in 1809 in Boston. Parents both actors and died when he was 3 Raised in Richmond, Virginia by rich merchant, John Allan & wife A rebel who liked to drink and gamble in first year of school at Virginia University.

4 Historical Facts About His Life
Acquired many debts, John Allan refused to pay them for him; Poe no longer had any monetary support Enlisted in the army, but continued to write for fun. Kicked out of West Point for disobedience (on purpose)

5 How He Became Famous First book was written in college (1827) and was called TAMERLANE A collection of old English style poetry that got great reviews Could no longer be supported by his guardian or by the army, he took to writing full time

6 Little-Known Facts Lost a lot of his money gambling
Allergic to alcohol and drugs; they made him ill Editor of his own magazine First books were published anonymously Was inspired by real murders Didn’t get along with his guardian, but wanted his inheritance

7 Major Life Events Married his cousin Virginia, she was only 13
Never earned enough money to support wife and himself Poetry and short stories were mostly acclaimed Virginia died at only 24, which influenced much of his writing

8 How He Died 2 years after death of wife, engaged his childhood sweetheart Stopped in Baltimore to bring Mother-in-law to wedding Found semi-conscious, intoxicated outside a tavern, died 4 days later Much mystery & debate about how/why he died

9 Poe’s Style and Contribution to Literature…

10 New Literary Techniques
Poe invented the following: modern gothic writing “short prose narrative” or what we call the short story modern detective story – “rationcination” solving a mystery through reasoning “principle of the total effect” -everything in story stays focused on the point -No excessive showy language -Appeals to emotions not intellect -Appeals to all 5 senses

11 Poe’s Types of Writing Psychological Story
Narrative that explores the mind/psyche Horror/ Gothic Story Narrative that explores the horrifying or supernatural Detective Story Narrative that solves a mystery Poetry Rhythmic Verse

12 Poe’s Technique Morbid Settings (gruesome, gloomy, unhealthy)
Imagery: words that appeal to the 5 senses First Person point of view (“I” as narrator) Irony (when the audience knows something the character does not or an unexpected outcome) Atmosphere of "probable but impossible."

13 Elements of Gothic in Poe’s Fiction
Grim setting Landscapes are often reflections of character’s mind. Unusual buildings, extremes of nature, eccentric works of art Very few of his stories take place in America; most take place in Europe or Never-never-land.

14 Other elements of the Gothic
Hidden evil Unspeakable, mysterious crimes, including incest and parracide Obsession with Death Ghosts, blood, body parts Maniacal Laughter The discovered manuscript gives responsibility to someone else the grotesque--people who don’t look right are capable of activity beyond the norm

15 Literary Terms Continued…
Allegory - objects, persons, and actions in a narrative, are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. The underlying meaning has moral, social, religious, or political significance, and characters are often personifications of abstract ideas as charity, greed, or envy. Thus an allegory is a story with two meanings, a literal meaning and a symbolic meaning.

16 Literary Terms "Foreshadowing” is the presentation in a work of literature of hints and clues that tip the reader off as to what is to come later in the work. can be, in fact, a form of 'backwriting.' The writer goes back through the copy and adds foreshadowing to prepare the reader for later events

17 Most Famous Works Short Stories: -The Tell-Tale Heart -The Black Cat
-The Masque of the Red Death -The Pit and the Pendulum -The Fall of the House of Usher Poems: -The Raven -Annabel Lee The Murders of the Rue Morgue (First modern detective story)*not reading


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