Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on the 19th of January and died on the 7th of October, 1849. Poe was an American writer, poet and editor, and his influencing work made his name famous all over the world. He composed stories and complicated crimes that were solved by the main characters. Moreover, a couple of his horror tales gained recognition from the abroad public. According to the research, Edgar Allan Poe was among the first American writers who started business through writing. It helped the writer earn some capital to support him in his living. When Poe was at a young age, his parents died and he became an orphan.
Death of both parents made Poe’s life hard and stressing. Fortunately, he was taken by Good Samaritans who assisted him in his growing. Later on, Poe enters the University of Virginia, where he studies for one semester. Finally, he was dropped out due to lack of financial stability in terms of fees and other needs that the young man wanted to satisfy (Meyer 23). However, Poe did not lose hope due to lack of university education. He began to think of another career, namely of joining the army forces. Poe thought that it would give him an opportunity to become a cadet officer in the west. Unfortunately, his efforts bore no fruits; he could not join the army as he intended and this made him part ways with the Good Samaritans. However, Poe did not step back because of this failure, so later he started another career as a writer. He composed poems, and “Tamerlane” was one of his first works. In 1835, Edgar Allan Poe got married to Virginia Clemm and published his own poem “The Raven”. It happened in January, 1845, and made the young writer more popular.
After the loss of wife, who suffered from sickness related to tuberculosis, Poe’s life has changed forever. He continued to write and even decided to publish his own journal named “Penin”. However, his efforts did not bring results because he died even before his mission of publishing the journal was accomplished. Edgar Allan Poe died at the age of forty in Baltimore. Unfortunately, the cause of his death is still unknown. Some people said it was due to tuberculosis, while others suggested that he committed suicide or died because of drugs abuse. There are also many other opinions. Even after Poe’s death, his works were very influential in many countries as well as in the United States. What is more, a lot of his literary works are preserved in museums (Cornelius 231). Nowadays, American mystery writers present the Edgar Allan Poe Award that was named after the famous writer. Edgar Allan Poe died as a very influential writer not only in the U.S. but all over the world, and his works are always worth reading.
The Murder in the Rue Morgue
The short story “The Murder in the Rue Morgue” talks about the murder of Madame and her loving daughter in the Rue Morgue that is situated in Paris. According to the story, the murder is believed to have been committed by use of a razorblade. Such a conclusion was made according to the observation of Madame’s body. There was a small cut on the throat that somehow teased the head apart. The daughter of Madame had been strangled to death with something what still was unknown to anyone. Her body was put into a chimney that situated nearby. The police were informed, and the investigation was started. The main work was to be conducted by the prefect of police named Dupin. He started investigation by questioning the neighbors, who were close to the place of crime. However, it seemed that they had not enough information. Moreover, they claimed that they did not understand the language spoken by the murderer.
Such cases were not common for the Parisians and they were frightened to pieces. Therefore, the police decided to investigate the matter on their own. Although some Paris natives agreed to help the police; moreover, they were absolutely sure that they would find the person who committed murder of Madame and her daughter. During their work, a person by the name Adolphe Le Bon has been imprisoned by the police as one of the suspects behind the murder. Despites there was no evidence behind this, he had not been pleaded guilty.
Alternatively, Dupin had a strong suspicion that an animal could be behind this murder, since nobody understood the murderers’ language or voice. Dupin found it very strange, so he gained a lot of interest in finding out the source of crime. During his investigation, he found the place, where the murder was committed. There was some hair that obviously belonged to an animal and not to a human being, which confirmed Dupin’s suspicion. This finding also made Dupin decide to work with people from media through putting an advertisement in the newspapers. The detective aimed at finding out whether there could be anyone who had lost some kind of animal, more specifically a primate known as an orangutan.
Later on, Dupin met a certain sailor, who claimed to have lost such an animal and that it belonged to him. The sailor would give a lot of information; it made Dupin believe that the sailors’ animal was the one behind the murder of Madame and her daughter in the Rue Morgue. The sailor said that the animal ran away from its captive through the window and then appeared in the Rue Morgue. It was suggested that when the animal found Madame, its intention was to shave her the same way the sailor did it during the shaving time. Unfortunately, that time Madame was helpless and could not fight back from that animal. Thus, within no time, the razor cut across the Madame’s throat almost chopping off the head. The animal then strangled the daughter and threw her body into the chimney. Later, it escaped with the help of sailor, because he was very afraid and worried about what they did. He was hesitating and did not know either to report the matter to the police or ran away. Although the whole thing reached the police, no very serious actions were taken regarding the matter.
According to the story “Purloined Letter”, there was a letter that had gone missing. It contained some confidential information belonging to a certain woman, who was not known by name. Following the loss of the letter, Dupin, the prefect of police, was carrying out the search as to where or how the letter could have gotten lost (Bloom 22). According to the story, it was believed that the missing letter had been exchanged with another one while it was in the post office. Later, the police concluded that whoever was handling the letter, the details and the information it contained were not yet revealed. At that moment, the police would start their investigation on where and who could possess the letter. They visited a hotel, which is believed to belong to the minister who stayed there at that very moment. The police officers searched for the letter everywhere, but they did not find it in that hotel. The prefect could smell a rat from the way Dupin was acting, talking and responding during the search. He had asked the police whether they were sure of what they were searching for; afterwards, he left. After several months of search, the prefect thought for long and then decided to put forward a present to anyone who could heard any information about the missing letter. At that moment, Dupin reappeared and asked the monitor for the reward before he produces the letter. Immediately, the prefect of police awarded Dupin and he produced the missing letter.
The prefect questioned Dupin on how he got hold the letter. He just answered that he had changed his appearance to look like someone else when he had visited the hotel of the minister. There he looked for that letter. Dupin claims he saw the letter from an old hanging rack. The address of the letter seemed to have been changed. Moreover, it was half torn (Meyer 23). In addition, the seal of the new letter has also been changed. Dupin intended to leave some kind of evidence to show that he was going to return the following day. Dupin explains that he had left a duplicate to ensure his ability to leave the hotel without being suspected of anything.
The Cask of Amontillado
“The Cask of Amontillado” is a short story about the narrator and Fortunato, who hurt the narrator many times. Moreover, the narrator was so mad, that he could not leave the matter apart and had to take revenge against Fortunato. In real sense, the narrator did not want Fortunato to know his intensions of revenge, so he did not show any signs. Fortunato follows the narrator step by step and does not suspect anything because they are talking as friends (Kennedy 23). Afterwards, the narrator meets Fortunato dressed like a jester; besides, he is already drunk. They shake hands and seem to be happy to meet each other. The narrator had already bought a bottle of amontillado that he would use to trick Fortunato; he knew very well that Fortunato loves wine.
Then, the narrator then decides to take Fortunato to the carnival; he puts on his black silk mask and then they both start moving. They go until they reach the place, where the narrator planned to attack Fortunato. He gives Fortunato one touch leading him to the “catacombs of the montressor.” Fortunato is afraid because he has never been to such a place before. There are some jingling bells on his cap.
Fortunato asks for some wine and starts coughing; however, he still asks for some more wine and does not want to go back (Kennedy 44). The narrator says, “nemo me impune lacessit”, which means that “you cannot do me wrong”, and then escapes without a revenge. They start moving to the catacombs, and the narrator holds Fortunato’s hand. Fortunato continues to drink wine and this time he is given a bottle of “de grave”. Finally, he throws the bottle up and shows some gestures. After that, they reached a place, where the air was not fresh. It smelled so bad due to rotten crypt. They moved on and found a place, where the walls contained dead human remains (Bloom 21). Many bones are lying on the floor and there is a small hole, which is 3ft. wide, 4 ft. deep and 7ft. high. The narrator chains Fortunato to the staples on the wall near the hole. Then he starts building a wall to close Fortunato in. He continues building it until he covers Fortunato completely. When he was to finish his last layer of bricks, he heard a slight laugh that worried him a lot. He also heard a voice that resembled him Fortunato’s voice. Finally, the readers find out from the conversation that the narrator’s name is Montressor: “for the love of God, Montressor”. It means that Fortunato was addressing the narrator, who replies “yes, for the love of God’. The story finishes with the words “in pase requisent.”
Edgar Allan Poe’s Contribution to the World of Short Stories
Edgar Allan Poe was amongst the first writers who considered detective stories as a means of investigation of certain hidden crimes. Poe was awarded annual award “Hugo” for the short story “The Murder the Rue Morgue” due to his big contribution to opening the world of short stories. He became a world famous writer thanks to his horror stories that were commonly familiar to many people all over the world, e.g. “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Raven”. He placed more emphasis one short stories and, therefore, many people referred him to as the father of short stories. Moreover, numerous authors were inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s stories. He contributed much to the literary field, namely helped in introduction and writing of various magazines and newspapers not only in America but in the whole world. Poe also influenced and motivated to writing such famous writers as Stephen King and Jules Verne. He helped in establishment and development of science fiction; for instance, his story “Hans Phaall” is talking about a visit to the moon. The story seemed so real, because the author included real facts so that people could believe in it (Kennedy 23). The fact that everyone believed his stories is proved by the event that happened in New York. People, finding out that someone had crossed Atlantic Ocean using a balloon, decided to repeat this attempt before coming to realize that it was lies.
Edgar Allan Poe used specific styles while writing his short stories. He used criticism in his works that contributed to a huge success in writing. Moreover, the author was very original in terms of thinking. Interestingly, Poe’s works even influenced French symbolists and their literature works.
Edgar Allan Poe will remain in peoples’ minds forever for his inspirational and influential works. He will be remembered as a founder of short stories all over the world. Despite his short life, Poe had a brilliant career of the writer of horror and detective stories and more so, was named the father of short stories. Edgar Allan Poe will always be a guide and inspirer for upcoming authors.