Edgar Allan Poe
“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality” (Edgar Allan Poe). Explained within the quote is the fact that words alone have no significance and that horrors are dreadful but those events are what create the greatness in the writing.
Therefore, words will be just words until brought to life. Poe’s experiences with insanity, dolefulness, and calamities influenced the author’s story “A Tell-Tale Heart” in regards to the protagonist’s mannerisms and plot structure. “Insanity is a non-specific term used to describe a severely deteriorated mental state resulting from a mental disorder” (Right Diagnosis) . This quote acts as proof and coincides with “The Tell-Tale Heart” because the murderer keeps asking the audience if the man seems mad and tries to prove otherwise. Therefore, to prove that the man was not mad the murderer shows the audience that the murder was planned so precisely to disprove the man’s madness. For example, the man went through so much seeing the other man’s eerie eye so the murder was planned for a week then the malicious intent was implemented.
In the author’s life, Virginia Poe, Poe’s wife, brought Poe so much happiness but Poe went through so much seeing that the illness developed each day and V. Poe would get worse. When V. Poe died, Poe became insane just like the murderer in the story who, after a while, felt the insanity taking over so the man confessed. For this reason the murderer states, “Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! – tear up the planks! – here, here! – it is the beating of his hideous heart!” (Poe, 6). Moreover, Poe tried to prove Poe was a good writer just like the man tried to prove that just because the murder occurred, the man wasn’t mad (insane).
“In exogenous depression, the disorder is triggered by events in the person’s life such as a death of a loved one, a break-up or divorce, or a personal failure” (HomePage Server for UT Psychology). Corresponding to the quote, Poe’s beloved wife died. Poe loved V. Poe very much. Before V. Poe, Poe wasn’t very happy, joyful, or enjoying life but when Poe married, V.
Poe brought Poe so much happiness. Later on, when V. Poe died the little bit of happiness in Poe’s life died too. Furthermore, when V. Poe died Poe’s health declined and Poe would become inebriated a lot more. As a result, Poe only lived two more years after V.
Poe’s death. Subsequently, many of Poe’s writings reflected V. Poe’s death because a beautiful girl or another person would die in Poe’s stories. Generally, Poe’s works were greatly influenced by V. Poe’s death. Coinciding with this, in “A Tell-Tale Heart” the man that the murderer was taking care of dies.
As a result, Poe, dubbed the father of detective stories, was always seen as a very dark, mysterious, and gloomy person which resulted in most of Poe’s works being about mysteries and horror stories. Calamities are defined as, “events causing great and often sudden damage or distress; a disaster” (Dictionary). A murder is described as, “something that is very difficult or unpleasant” (Dictionary). These quotes are evident in Poe’s story and in the life of the author by acting as proof that Poe’s calamities in life are like the murder in Poe’s story. Hence, in the author’s life, Poe’s parents died at an early age so the author never really knew the birth parents. Later on, Poe’s foster mother died of tuberculosis which had already taken some other people in Poe’s family.
Furthermore, Poe fought with Allen Poe (foster father) for things such as Poe’s debt. For example, Poe was in great debt and living in poverty so Poe blamed that on A. Poe because A. Poe did not give Poe money. For these reasons, Poe’s calamities represent the murder in Poe’s story because both the calamities and the murder are terrible things that are unpalatable. Poe’s traumatic life was the force that fueled the author’s story.
Poe was the vehicle being pushed by the author’s traumatic history. In addition, smoldering emotions usurped Poe throughout the author’s lifespan. For this reason, in reality, Poe’s emotions were spiritually writing the narrative, while the author was physically writing the story. In other words, Poe was the pen and the emotions were the novelist. All of Poe’s emotions controlled the author.
Correspondingly, today many people’s emotions dominate a person making that person do things that one may or may not want to do. Coextensive to Poe, these emotions could lead to greatness or negative effects that could last for a lifetime.