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Edgar Allan Poe, the Best American Writer: An Analysis

Updated on September 11, 2019
Rhylee Suyom profile image

Rhylee Suyom has hopped in three different worlds: the academe, the corporate, and the media. He enjoys being with nature and his family.

The Best of Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe, the Best American Writer: An Analysis

There are many kinds of movies and stories that many people like and love to watch and read. Some stories have become movies because they are unique, and many believe they are very special. Some movies and stories have also become part of people’s memories and will never be forgotten almost like the teachings of religion. If a writer has become popular because of one kind of story, imagine if a special writer introduced three new kinds of stories to the world. This is the case of Edgar Allan Poe and this short essay is made to prove that he is really the best American writer in history.

Master Edgar: A Pioneer in Many Ways

Edgar Allan Poe is a man of many contradictions. He is a drunkard, but a great writer. He is not physically appealing yet married his 13-year old cousin (Wright, 2018). His works are unique, yet his first ever trial was rejected. These are some of the things which make Poe a man next-to-impossible to understand. However, the real mystery about him is that his works are mysterious even to this day. To prove that he is the best because of his mysterious writing style and abilities, the following discussion is given below:

Poe before Batman

First, Poe gave the world the first detective story. In fact, there is a rumor that DC got the idea of its own company because of the detective stories made into comics. The Golden Bug or Golden Scarab can be considered something very new and strange yet fresh for many readers before (Wright, 2018). It was something that many readers could not believe would be possible. The story not only made detective stories appealing to many but also showed how the mind of people can be manipulated or become insane. It was a psychological novel which made many people want for more. This is one of the best contributions of Mr. Poe to the literary world.

Poe and the Human Psyche

Second, aside from the psychological nature of his work in the detective stories he wrote, he also showed the darker side of man’s mind in some of his most popular stories such as the Cask of Amontillado and The Tell-Tale Heart. These two stories alone showed the world for the first time how dark and horrifying men could be when they lose their sanity (Poe, 2006). Mr.Poe was very good at this that he was later called the Master of Macabre because his stories are not just simply superstitiously horrifying like many stories were at that time, but they show how a person’s mind can be corrupted due to his envy, pride, anger, and greed (Carter, 2013). There are many more stories which he wrote using this style and many of today’s horror-suspense thrillers can be seen as copies of his original plots and story lines.

Poe and the Universe

Third and lastly, Mr. Poe did not just want to show the importance of police work in his stories but also included sensitive psychological twists by adding insanity or hallucinations in his work. But these are not enough so he even went higher and deeper by adding weird scientific inventions and instruments in his stories. He is also the Father of science-fiction stories (Poe, 2006). Can you imagine that he made a story about exploring the universe using the most advance scientific vehicles and rocket ships, with characters using time travel, light saber-like swords, laser beams, plasma guns, and many more bizarre instruments no one has even thought of during that time. He made space travel sound so easy that other writers realized he may just must be the next Jules Verne or Isaac Asimov. He even combined the Frankenstein-like plot with religious or occult style of theme in his work The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfall and in The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar (Dunlop, 2016). If only someone is really paying attention to what he had done, he or she will automatically realize that the contributions of Edgar Allan Poe can be easily seen everywhere in almost all new movie blockbusters now. Think of Batman alone; the skills he has and his ability to get the necessary details to solve a crime or problem came from the detective stories Mr. Poe wrote. Even Batman’s ability to get inside the minds of his enemies by manipulating his environment giving them fear is Mr. Poe’s style. Now, there are so many Batman-like stories so one can imagine the impact Mr. Poe had done for literature and movies. Also, the many movies and stories involving Star-Trek-like or Space Odyssey-like stories with zombies or resurrected beings are nothing but a mixture of Mr. Poe’s genius abilities and works. In summary, most of the stories and plots presented in today’s movies have one thing or more in common with/to the things Mr. Poe had once presented in his literary masterpieces.

A Master Survivor of Sorts

Another interesting point in his life is his decision to be what he wanted to be and nothing else --- a writer. He had so many trials and challenges which at times can be so difficult that he was almost dead, but he showed the world that writers can live by just being writers. He showed many people that there is life even when a writer’s payment may not be enough to support a grand lifestyle, yet he endured and proved that writers can remain writers and survive without having another work. It was his effort which showed that writers do not have to sacrifice their time and talents by getting boring but high-paying jobs just so they can live or survive (Wright, 2018). This is a great way of giving writers and would-be writers the inspiration to continue their desire and passion to write because someone had done it before even when the chances of survival were very low, and no one seems to want to finance a writer. For many writers, this is all they need: an inspiring true story of someone who braved society’s nonacceptance of a humble yet promising writer.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, there are many points which prove that Edgar Allan Poe is indeed the best American writer not only because he wrote something unique but also because his struggles in life served as the basis of how a new writer can survive. So, whether in his style and themes of writing or in his real-life stories, Mr. Poe showed the world how he managed to survive and eventually become popular. It seems that the many beautiful things we can now enjoy by reading and watching are directly or indirectly inspired by his works. So, if we are amazed at these things, people should be more appreciative and must give Mr. Poe the proper attention and respect he deserves. When Stan Lee died, many showed their love and appreciation, yet no one seems to even bother to show how much Mr. Poe changed the world of stories and movies through his contributions. It is time that he must be recognized for his great masterpieces and accomplishments. Stan Lee and many more science-fiction comic book writers and animators would not have known the possibilities of combining these elements if no Edgar Allan Poe had once done so back in the days of long ago.

References

Carter, Angela. (2013). “Edgar Allan Poe, Master of Horror and Science Fiction: From the Archive, 14 October 1976.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2013/oct/14/edgar-allan-poe-science-fiction-collection.

Dunlop, Doug. (2016). “Fantastic Worlds of Edgar Allan Poe: Science in Fiction.” Smithsonian Libraries Unbound, c. 2016, blog.library.si.edu/blog/2015/10/30/fantastic-worlds-of-edgar-allan-poe-science-in-fiction/#.W_-fRmgzZdg.

Poe, Edgar Allan. (2006). The Best of Poe: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, The Cask of Amontillado, and 30 Others.” Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Classic. Pp. 1 – 216. Print.

Wright, Thomas. (2018). “Poe, Edgar Allan.” Oxford Research Encyclopedias, oxfordre.com/literature/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190201098.001.0001/acrefore-9780190201098-e-612.

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    • Rhylee Suyom profile imageAUTHOR

      Professor S 

      8 months ago from Angeles City, Pampanga, PHILIPPINES

      Thanks Lorna. Growing up, I have always thought that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is the greatest writer and had thought that he pioneered much about detective work. It was during my thesis as final requirement before graduation that I realized it was Edgar Allan Poe who started everything.

      From then on, his life and work have never failed to amaze me.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      8 months ago

      This is a really in-depth article about one of my favourite poets and great writers. Each time I read one of his poems I am still in awe. All respect to his masterful work. timeless and inspiring.

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