Edgar Allan Poe Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer


Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer, poet, and playwright. He was born in January 19, 1809 and died in October 7, 1849 (Burlingame 6). Edgar was among the pioneers of creative writing in America. He was proficient in writing short stories and contributed in developing detective fiction style. His love for writing was apparent and this led him to believe that he could earn a living through writing (Burlingame 12).

This resulted to a life of financial problems. Edgar’s childhood was difficult and stressing. For instance, his father abandoned the family and his mother died shortly after. He schooled at University of Virginia but later dropped owing to financial constraints (Burlingame 14). He joined the army but failed to record exemplary performance. This prompted him to quit the military. These events affected his relationship with foster parents with whom he parted ways.

This marked the onset of his publishing and literary exploits. He worked for several literary journals as a writer and analyst on matters literature (Burlingame 17). Edgar died in Baltimore and the cause of his death was not clear. It resulted from alcohol, suicide, coronary failure, brain exhaustion, among other reasons. Edgar Allan Poe was and is still a literary icon of international repute. His work continues to influence literature in United States of America and the world at large.


Edgar began his literary career at a very difficult time in the United States. The publishing environment was harsh and unfavourable (Wiles 22). Cases of piracy were rampant and publishers failed to compensate writers for work done. This made life difficult for Edgar as he depended on writing as a sole source of livelihood.

On several occasions, he had to solicit for monetary and other forms of assistance from friends. After trying poetry, Allan turned to other forms of literary styles, especially prose writing (Wiles 22). He wrote several stories for a journal in Philadelphia after which he commenced work on his drama, Politan. In 1833, Edgar won a literary prize for his accomplishments in writing short stories.

Through this award, Edgar captured John P Kennedy’s attention, who later introduced him to Thomas White. Thomas White was the editor of southern literary messenger (Wiles 23). Edgar rose to position of assistant editor. His work contributed to success of the periodical. He worked on poetry, critiques, book reviews, and an array of short stories (Wiles 26).

During his lifetime, Edgar cultivated an image of a seasoned literary critic, mostly depicted in his long career as a writer and critic (Meltzer 32). His fellow writers and critics held him in high esteem and respect for his literary prowess. He was an acclaimed writer in fiction literature.

Poe was instrumental in establishing and developing the genre of detective fiction. His work in this genre has influenced style and approach of contemporary fiction writers. His influence is apparent in the field of science fiction, with several writers writing sequels to his works (Meltzer 40). Edgar has had immense influence on modern writers. His works remain pivotal in shaping contemporary literary endeavours.

Edgar Allan Poe’s literary work traversed the field of science, particularly physics and cosmology. This was particularly contained in Eureka: A Prose Poem, which he wrote in 1848, a year before his death (Meltzer 43). The poem contained a theory that effectively embodied the big bang theory in intricate and candid detail.

In writing Eureka, Edgar shunned scientifically accepted procedures and wrote from personal feelings and emotions, and thus categorised it under art rather than science. Edgar was also experienced in code writing. He exploited the fact that people were not aware of this form of writing in fine detail. He took advantage of that by popularizing himself as a seasoned expert in cryptography (Meltzer 45).

He managed to awaken public interest in the subject and propagated a culture of continuity in the subject matter. William Friedman, a cryptologist in the 20th century, drew inspiration from Edgar’s exploits in this area of practice. William was inspired to follow this career after reading Edgar’s work in his early life. During his days in the US Army, William applied his experience in cryptography to understand and crack the coded language used by Japan during the Second World War (Meltzer 52).

This example is a perfect demonstration of how Edgar Allan Poe influenced society through his interest in literature and science. Edgar Allan Poe excelled in gothic literature. In his writing, he recurrently focused on the subject of death in intricate details. He examined various aspects of death and its effects on human beings. He questioned what happens to human body after death. People did not appreciate his foray into death because of its tag as a taboo subject.

His in-depth analysis of death portrayed him as being rude and offensive. For a long time, people did not embrace his literary themes. However, his writings influenced people as they appreciated his style and school of thought. In the end, his literary work earned respect and admiration from fans and peers.

Edgar Allan Poe’s life was full of challenges and events that turned into a tale of sorts. However, Allan was a tenacious soul always willing to fight to see another day. The realities surrounding his personal life were difficult and taxing in many aspects. In his fighting spirit, Edgar did not give up on life (Hayes 22). Later in life, he encountered numerous problems, most of which he surmounted with considerable ease.

Through his life, people learn countless lessons with regard to the nature of human life. Through his life, it is apparent that life presents us with numerous challenges and complexities. However, we should not allow the challenges to dampen our spirit to soldier on with life. Just like Edgar, we should endeavour to face difficulties in a rational and intelligent manner. Edgar was not perfect in life but he struggled to fulfil his destiny in the best way possible (Hayes 29).


Edgar Allan Poe’s influence is apparent in modern society. Through his works of literature, many writers have been inspired to explore literary circles. His literary style and approach has remained a point of reference for many students of literature.

Literary enthusiasts derive morale from Edgar, considering that he lived in an era when technological advancements were minimal. Undoubtedly, it was difficult to advance literary agenda in whatever form. Edgar, in his element, overcame challenges and established a literary legacy that has stood the test of time.

Indeed, Edgar has influence on modern society. In literary circles, people have a lot to gain from his unique style and approach to pertinent issues in society. Beyond literature, people learn to appreciate the value of hard work and dedication to work. Allan was a hard worker who always believed in the sanctity of individual industry. Indeed, Edgar Allan Poe continues to inspire society through his works of literature.

Works Cited

Burlingame, Jeff. Edgar Allan Poe: Deep Into That Darkness Peering. London:

Enslow Publishers, 2008. Print.

Hayes, Kevin. The Cambridge Companion to Edgar Allan Poe. London: Cambridge

University Press, 2002. Print.

Meltzer, Milton. Edgar Allan Poe: A Biography. New York: Twenty-First Century

Books, 2003. Print.

Wiles, Julian. Nevermore! : Edgar Allan Poe: The Final Mystery. New York: Dramatic

Publishing, 1995. Print.

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