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Edgar Allan Poe Thesis Statement

The more specific the topic of your paper, the better the paper will be and the easier it will be to research and write. That means that you need to formulate some very specific question to ask about Poe's work and then spend some time looking at his work and appropriate background information to develop an answer. 

For example, Poe's wife died of "consumption" (what is now called tuberculosis), as did many of his characters. You might investigate the role of consumption in Poe's works. How many of his characters suffered from it? Is his treatment of the disease realistic? What role does it play in his plots? Are there specific types of character who suffer from it?

Another possibility would be to look at incest in Poe. Poe himself married his cousin, and incestuous relationships are discussed or implied in several of his works. You would want also to look at the definition of incest -- there were intense debates in the period about what counted as incest (a cousin? a deceased wife's sister?)

There are many other topics you could discuss, but what is most important is choosing a sufficiently narrow topic so that you can research it and write about it in depth. 

Edgar Allen Poe


I. Introductory Paragraph

I.1. Thesis statement

I.2. High points

II. First Paragraph

II.1. Brief history of life

III. Second Paragraph

III.1. Edgar's Writing Style

III.2. Examples

IV. Specific poems and short stories

IV.1. Examples

V. Conclusion Paragraph

V.1. Restating thesis statement

V.2. Restating high points of the paper

Edgar Allen Poe was one of the great writers of this world. He created several poems and short stories of a dark and dreary setting. His imagination was incredible. Edgar Allen Poe did not have a normal life. Bad luck and heart ach seemed to follow him until his death. His writing style was very different than other writers' style. His most famous pieces of work will be remembered for many generations to come.

Edgar Allen Poe was born in Boston on January 19, 1809. He was the son of Elizabeth Poe and David Poe, both minor professional actors. He had one brother and one sister. Their names were William Henry Leonard and Rosalie. Both his parents died before he was three years old from tuberculosis, and he was raised in the home of Frances Keeling Valentine Allan and her husband John Allan, an exporter from Richmond, Virginia. He became very attached to his stepmother and then she passed away of tuberculosis. As a youth, Poe attended the finest academies in Richmond, his stepfather overseeing his education. He entered the University of Virginia at Charlottesville in 1825. He distinguished himself academically at the University but was forced to leave due to inadequate financial support from his stepfather. Poe returned to Richmond in 1827 but soon left for Boston. There, he enlisted in the army and published a collection of poetry called "Tamerlane, and Other Poems". Poe was discharged from the army in 1829. The same year, he published a second volume of the verse. Neither of his first two collections attracted much attention. "Poe married his 13-year-old cousin Virginia Clemn. She burst a blood vessel in 1842, and remained a virtual worthless until her death from tuberculosis five years later" (online-literature, pg. 2). He addressed the famous poem "Annabel Lee" to her in 1849. In 1836, he received an editorship at The Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond. Around this time, Edgar began using drugs and dinking very heavily. He even showed up at events drunk. Still, he was writing incredible stories and poems. Poe received a large amount of recognition, not only for his poetry and fiction, but as an exceptional literary critic. He also achieved popular success, especially following the publication of his poem "The Raven." Edgar had fallen for Merrie next and she died of brain cancer. After a period in which he was involved in various romantic affairs, Poe planned to remarry, but in late September, 1849 he arrived in Baltimore for reasons unknown. "Poe suffered from bouts of depression and madness, and he attempted suicide in 1848" (online-literature, pg. 2). In early October he was discovered nearly unconscious in a Baltimore gutter. Edgar was taken to Washington College Hospital. Some say that Poe called out the name "Reynolds" on the night before he died. He died on early in the morning of October 7, 1849. He was buried in the yard of Baltimore's Wesminster Presbyterian Church. People said that his final words were "it is all over now; write 'Eddy is no more." Others say that his final words were "Lord, help my poor soul." That night was very unclear. Since his death Poe's work has been variously assessed, with critics disagreeing on its value. Today, Poe is acknowledged as a major literary figure. His poems and stories have influenced the literary schools of Symbolism and Surrealism as well as the popular genres of detective and horror fiction.

Edgar Allen Poe had a very different writing style than other writers. Some of his works include "The Cask of a Amontillado Montessori", "The Tell Tale Heart", and "The Pit and the Pendulum". The characters in Poe's Stories are mysterious and often unidentified. Poe's settings share several similarities. Often a story will take place in a dark confined space. For example The Pit and the Pendulum is an area where it is a small closed and unidentified. Also the settings in Poe's work are often vague, unknown, or far away. For example The Pit and The Pendulum is very unclear it is set in what appears to be an underground Pit during the time of the Spanish Inquisition, but it remains dark and mysterious. Also, the style itself is murky and difficult to reflect the very darkness and unclearness of the setting. Poe's technique for plot elements shows similarities. Madness, murder, revenge, horror, and bizarre situations that seem unreal rule most of Poe's writings. For example in The Cask of a Amontillado Montessori is seeking revenge to Fortunate Insulting Montessori and his family. The motives of the character are very clear in this story. The character vows to get revenge and murder Fortunato. Also in The Tell Tale Heart the narrator kills an old man because of the appearance of the old man's eye. "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841) is sometimes considered the first detective story. The mood in Poe's stories is rather angry and devilish.

Edgar Allen Poe had certain poems and short stories that stuck into his readers' heads. These works made him the famous person that he is today. In "Silence--A Sonnet," Poe seemed to be addressing the corporate silence as the symbolic nature of death (Poe, Edgar Allan: Poetry and Tales, 555)." One story, "The Masque of the Red Death" clearly illuminates the