Edgar Allan Poe
For some class on some date with some professor The Influence of Family and

Friends on Poe Over the course of Poe’s forty year stay on Earth, he was
exposed early to several key people who would have a profound impact on his
writings. Though this idea in and of itself is not uncommon in literature, for

Poe it went far beyond being merely influenced. Beginning at age 3 when he lost
his parents, Poe was subjected to a difficult life that would later play heavily
in his works. Between his foster father (John Allan), his first love (Sarah

Elmis Royster) and his young first wife (Virginia Cleem), Poe’s contacts
largely dictated his works. How was it that such an obviously brilliant
individual like Poe allowed himself to be mentally manipulated by these people?

To answer this question, it is necessary to take a step back and first get a
little background. Edgar Allen Poe was born on January 19, 1809 to two
struggling actors, David and Elizabeth Poe. When his father died at the age of

36, Edgar was left alone with his pregnant mother. He traveled with his mother
and sister from theater to theater, often sleeping backstage. When his mother
died of tuberculosis on December 11, 1811 at the young age of 24, Edgar and his
sister, Rosalie, were orphaned. Edgar was only two years old. His sister was
sent to live with a Mrs. Mackenzie when she was one, Edgar went to live with

John and Frances Allen. Edgar\'s older brother William, was already living with
their grandfather, David Poe, Sr., because at the time of his birth, David and

Elizabeth could not afford to care for him. Edgar moved to Richmond, Virginia
with the Allan’s, where he had many luxuries that he had never had before. He
had his own bedroom in the apartment above John Allen\'s store, Ellis &

Allen, and even servants to help him wash before bed and put away his clothes.

Growing up, Edgar never got along with his foster father, often arguing with
him, and rarely showing any affection. John Allen once even described his son as
"miserable, sulky, and ill-tempered". There was also the matter of

Edgar\'s alcoholism, which brought shame upon his foster family and friends. Even
his beloved first fiancee Sarah Elmira Royster, eventually refused to see him,
because of his drinking habits. One night after a particularly bitter argument
with Mr. Allen, he decided to leave his home and go to Boston. Boston was only
the short term answer and soon Poe was disillusioned with the city. After an
unpleasant month in Boston, Edgar was once again on the road. After having a few
poems published and withdrawing from a military academy he eventually wound up
in Baltimore, Maryland, penniless. He soon found that his relatives there were
as poor as he was. Even so, they welcomed him into their homes and hearts. He
stayed for a while in the home of his aunt, Maria Clemm. Also living with Mrs.

Clemm were her two children, Henry, 13, and Virginia; Poe\'s cousin and future
wife. In addition, his paralyzed grandmother and his dying brother William, 24
also resided there. He tried unsuccessfully to get a job at several newspapers,
before seeing a contest for the best short story in the local paper. Being
rather poor, Poe proceeded writing short stories in attempt to win the $100
winners’ prize. Even though he did not win the $100 for his efforts, Poe did
have some of the stories published in the years to come, but he never had
anything to show for it , because the newspaper did not give him credit for
writing the stories. Poe was offered a job back in Richmond, and he had to leave

Baltimore(and worse, Virginia, with whom he had fallen in love) to take the job.

He rapidly fell into depression while in Richmond over the absence of his
beloved Virginia and was driven once again to drinking. . Poe\'s drinking had
gotten out of hand and he was fired. He went back to Baltimore on the spot and
asked for Virginia\'s hand in marriage. They got married a year later. Soon after
he was wed, he was re-offered the job in Richmond, but only if he promised to
never drink again. He promised to never let another sip of liquor pass his lips,
and went to Richmond, this time taking Virginia and his aunt Maria. This would
prove to be the high point of Poe’s life. Not due to any success or
recognition, but more importantly