How did Poe's life, early education in England, and his later education in Virginia influence his writing.I am trying to find examples in his works that link to his less than happy school years.

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is always much of the artisit in his/her art.  Like many of his narrators of his poems and stories, Edgar Allan Poe had a life of tragedy and unrest.  Thus, in his works there is an indescribable magnetism that draws the reader because behind the bizarre characters there is the real Poe.

A brillant and sensitive man, Poe, much like his narrators, had an appreciation of beautiful, but tragic mysteries of life.  In "The House of Usher," for instance, Roderick's friend admires the architectural grandeur of the Usher mansion while at the same time he senses the impending danger and demise which the structure houses.  The unusually close relationship of Roderick and his sister Madeline suggest the psychologically questionable relationship of Poe to his thirteen-year-old cousin. Likewise, the sensitivities of Roderick are much like Poe's own; the poetry is imaginative and emotional.  In Poe's poem "Elonora", he writes,

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who only dream by night.

In addition to having been orphaned, Poe was also estranged from his foster father, causing him much insecurtiy, of course.  As a result, he was of a darkly passionate sensitivity much like the narrator of the poem "The Raven," who imagines that the raven perceives his woe and heartbreak.  For, Poe felt an impending loss behind him and, thus, sensed what existed in the present as something to sense keenly because of its transitory state.

Unrest and conflict filled his life as Poe's personal and professional relationships were marked by discord and mystery.  In fact, the cause of his death was undetermined.  Some attribute it to alcoholism, or drugs, or disease, or even murder.  On his gravesite is a carving of a raven.