The early childhood traumas that occurred such as dealing with disease in the family to being impacted with his father’s alcohol addiction took a toll on Poe’s life. He started to view the world as a cold harsh place where physical and mental illness was atmospheric. Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston Massachusetts to a broken family. At an early age, Poe’s father abandoned the family leaving them to live for themselves. Later on, Poe’s mother unfortunately died from tuberculosis and left Poe to a man named John Allan who was a wealthy merchant. After the deaths of his parental figures, Poe then later went on to write short fiction stories that usually revolved around death and other morbid topics such as despair and illness. Poe’s work is some of the most famous dark romanticism novels of American Literature. His different topics include drugs, alcohol, mental illness, and more. He used these things as symbols in order to represent what pain he had gone through throughout his early life.
One of the main symbols Poe used was alcohol.(Heller,2001) Alcohol is used to symbolize how the main character’s life has been taken over and causes him to do bad. This reflects Poe’s life because he too was consumed by drinking. In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story ‘The Black Cat’, Poe uses the symbol of alcoholism to represent how alcohol has put an impact on his early life.(Heller,2001) In the story, the main character is a man who struggles with an alcohol addiction. He talks about how when he started his addiction, everything for him went wrong. He slowly started going insane which was a result from his addiction to alcohol. We can see the effects of alcohol when the narrator kills his pet cat named Pluto. This relates to Poe’s life because as the narrator did, Poe’s life falls bad because of alcohol. Later on the man goes even deeper into his trance of insanity. He ends up accidentally killing his wife with rage and results in getting caught for it.(Heller,2001) The symbol of alcoholism symbolizes the effect that it can have on a person’s life; also that it can drive you potentially drive you insane. This is something to which Poe was going through at the time. His alcoholism was making him do things that were not so good. The narrator of The Black Cat in a way represents how Poe’s life was. Bad choices lead to bad outcomes, and this is what alcohol was used to represent this phrase. It was also used to symbolize Poe’s early life and struggle with alcohol addiction. Alcohol is used to symbolize how the main character’s life has been taken over and causes him to do bad.(Heller,2001) This reflects Poe’s life because he too was consumed by drinking, and it had inspired him to take these events into writing.