Love and Death in Poe’s Writings

February 15, 2021 by Essay Writer


Edgar Allan Poe is recognized as the father of love and death in American literature. Throughout the many years since Edgar Allan Poe became famous, we have come to realize that many of his works are very similar. In Edgar Allan Poe’s works, he views sadness and depression as beauty. Most of his writings have a very depressing and sad tone. In his stories, we examine a psychological problem within most of the main characters. Throughout some of Poe’s stories, the narrator tries to convince the reader that he/she is sane, despite being insane. In his writings, the elements of love and death are a theme. The way Poe compares beauty is unique compared to other poets and writers. Poe writes about this beauty in his works, such as “Annabel Lee,” “The Black Cat,” and “The Cask of Amontillado.”

Poe’s Life

Throughout Poe’s childhood and adulthood, he experienced loving others who didn’t love him back. His father abandoned his family when he was young and his mother died about a year after this. “His mother and two other women who served as mother figures to him died prematurely. His wife was ill for years before she succumbed tuberculosis, and a fiancee rejected him” (Moliken 5-6). This quote displays how troubled Poe’s childhood and adulthood was, which could have been a leading factor for his alcoholism and depression as well as his writings. We see how in Poe’s life there were many different obstacles leading up to his writing, especially lack of love.

Annabel Lee

Throughout the story of “Annabel Lee,” a man is mourning the death of a beautiful young lady. The young woman had died quite a while ago but the man is still very sad. In the beginning of the poem the narrator starts by saying how Annabel Lee lived so that she could love him and he would love her (Poe 5-6). He misses her very much and he constantly begins to think about how she was taken from him. The narrator’s love for Annabel Lee is so strong that even angels are jealous (Poe 21-22). He loved Annabel Lee more than anything.

A quote from “Annabel Lee” is, “And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side/ Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride/ In her sepulchre there by the sea/ In her tomb by the sounding sea” (Poe 38-41). This quote shows how much he loves her due to him sleeping next to her tomb every night. It shows how his love for her is so strong even though she has been dead for many years. In this poem we see how Poe works with both love and death as a theme. He explains to the readers how even though someone can die, that it doesn’t mean your love for them had to end.

The Black Cat

In “The Black Cat”, a man starts off with loving his animals especially his cat Pluto. The narrator describes Pluto as a beautiful and majestic animal. Pluto and the narrator have a very strong bond. But throughout the story, the narrator became more and more of an alcoholic. He starts becoming more and more depressed and angry towards others, especially Pluto and his wife. Due to his addictions, the narrator becomes violent and starts to hurt Pluto. One night he begins just hurting Pluto, when he is bitten in the hand. For revenge, the narrator decides to cut one of Pluto’s eyes out. (Poe 116). The narrator keeps feels sorrow for what he has done, but not enough to stop his drinking. Due to his retaliations towards Pluto, the narrator begins to see things that represent Pluto even though Pluto has died.

The Cask of Amontillado

The last of Poe’s works was “The Cask of Amontillado”. In this story, a man named Montresor decides to seek revenge against a man named Fortunato, who has insulted him. He meets Fortunato at a carnival, lures him into the catacombs of his home, and buries him alive.


Edgar Allan Poe became famous, not only because of his writings but because of his story. Poe used his experiences and troubles to help him write his stories. His writings are so popular because they are real. They show how “What is certain, however, is that Edgar Allan Poe left behind an enduring legacy of work that will long outlive the circumstances of death” (Moliken 7).


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