Edgar Allan Poe was a man considered by many to be the personification of Death. He is regarded as a true American Genius whose works seized and frightened the minds of millions. However, Poe greatly differed from other acclaimed authors of his time. He had a unique writing style that completely altered the reality surrounding his readers. Rather than touch their hearts with lovable fictional characters he found a way of expressing himself that no other author had at the time. Poe’s combination of demented genius and difficult past experiences led him to become one of the greatest writers of all time.
Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to parents who were itinerant actors (Edgar Allan Poe). His father David Poe Jr. either died or vanished in 1810 and his mother Elizabeth Hopkins Poe died in 1811, leaving Edgar and two other siblings to fend for themselves. Edgar was taken into the home of a Richmond, Virginia tobacco merchant named John Allan while the others were cared for by different foster parents (Allen). Poe started his education in Richmond and rapidly developed his skills in writing and reading. By the age of five Poe could readily recite passages of English poetry. Even at a young age Poe showed a natural talent for writing. One of his teachers in Richmond said: “While the other boys wrote mere mechanical verses, Poe wrote genuine poetry; the boy was a born poet,” (Allen).
When Mr. Allan’s business took them to Great Britain, Poe did not waiver and continued to flourish in his studies. He was brought up in England between the years of 1815 and 1820, where he attended the Manor School at Stoke Newington (Wilson). Six years later in 1826, Poe moved back to America and attended the University of Virginia. During his stay at the university, Poe composed some tales, but little is known of his early works. Within the next year he was expelled for not paying his gambling debts. His expulsion along with Poe’s refusal to study law led to a quarrel with his foster father, Allan, who refused to pay the debts for him. Allan later disowned Poe and he was forced by circumstances to move to Boston. Later that year Poe joined the U.S. Army as a common soldier under an assumed age and name, Edgar A. Perry. He was deployed to Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, which provided settings for “The Gold Bug” (1843), and “The Balloon Hoax” (1844), and Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), which Poe published at his own expense. They all sold poorly. Despite its poor sales while Poe was alive, Tamerlane and Other Poems has become one of the rarest volumes in American literary history. In 1830 Poe entered West Point. However he was dishonorably discharged the next year for intentional neglect of his duties--apparently as a result of his own determination to be released. Poe wished to be dismissed as soon as he realized that he would never be reconciled with his foster father (Edgar Allan Poe).
In 1833 Poe moved to Baltimore and...