Edgar Allan Poe


Senior Cristian Guzman loves to read Poe’s collection of writings in a dark setting. It adds to the gothic features of the stories. “My favorite Poe piece has to be The Tell-Tale Heart. It shows how guilt can drive you insane,” he said.

Tiffany Lovell, Staff Writer

Edgar Allan Poe is literary legend whose work is known for its dark nature. Poe’s literature which includes mysterious and gothic features are perfect for this time of year. Although, Poe’s work was not always appreciated for its surreal beauty, as he tried to publish many of his ideas at age 23 and had been denied by many. By 1832, Poe was rejected by various newspapers and magazines; he did not take this lightly and reverted to alcoholism.

“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom,” Poe said on the topic of his addiction.

Poe, despite his continuous drinking, was a smart man. He attended the University of Virginia and was awarded highest honors in Ancient and Modern languages. Sadly, the college community brought him to gambling, which later came a part of his literature. After his first year at school, he has become surrounded by debt and had to drop out. In the short story of “Hop Frog,” the main character displays the addiction gambling and to drinking to reflect Poe’s own inner demons.

Many may ask why he wrote such sinister work. Was he insane? Did he wish to enforce these actions in real life? No, he was simply allowing his pain and conflicts to flow into beautiful pieces of literature, as surreal as they may be.

“I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever,” Poe, stated in The Tell-Tale Heart.

Since Halloween is just around the corner, Poe’s terrifying tales would be a great asset to a Halloween Party or even just a night by the fire. The Tell-Tale Heart is a particularly demented piece. It contains a character who decides to kill a man for a very peculiar reason and the narrator claims to be completely sane, but as the story progresses. the reader can interpret that he is simply in denial. The story provides a perfect example of the psychological contradictions that every murderer has. Another dark tale would be The Raven. It is a much lighter piece compared to The Tell-Tale Heart, but it is still a wonderful story to share during these fall nights because of its gothic undertones.  The short story is about a man who just lost his wife, and one night in the midst of his attempt to read, he is interrupted by knocking. Nothing is at the door, but outside through the window a raven sits. He allows the raven in and the night continues and questions are asked by the man, he realizes the bird only answers with ‘Nevermore.’ Here the character starts to lose his sanity, resulting in another classic Poe tale.

Edgar Allan Poe was a marvelous macabre author. His dark stories are perfect for the spooky month of Halloween.