and Mrs. John Allan (Giordano, 2005). This early glimpse of his biography sets the stage for the complex psychological case that the author and his stories represent. The rest of his biography reveals the deep sense of fear of abandonment that fed his stories and poems, particularly as they dealt with the female character, the mother that left him, the sister he lost and, finally, the child and wife he adored who died. By looking at this biography, one can begin to understand some of the observations that have been made regarding Poe’s psychiatric make-up.
Although he was given an affluent childhood thanks to Mr. Allan’s success as a merchant, the young Edgar experienced more separation when his foster parents opted to send him to boarding school in England for five years beginning at the age of 6. By the age of 17, Edgar was attending school at the University of Virginia, but he was already a very unhappy man. His foster father provided him with very little spending money, which Edgar began using to fund his heavy drinking habit (Giordano, 2005). Debt and inattention forced him to quit school less than a year later. With few options available to him, Edgar then joined the Army where he did well enough to gain his foster father’s support for application to West Point, but this also forced a separation as Edgar had managed to forge a new relationship with his aunt, Mrs. Clemm, and his young cousin, Virginia, while awaiting admittance to the school. Edgar might have done well at West Point, but John Allan failed to send him money while he was attending school again and again, Poe was dismissed. Left to his own defenses, Edgar made his way to New York by 1831 and, with no further assistance from John Allan, struggled to survive until he finally landed a job with a newspaper in 1835 and began seeing some success from his writing (Giordano, 2005). It was only at this point that he began to find a sense ...
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