Edgar Allan Poe Un-Masqued: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Gothic Writer

You’d be hard-pressed to find a student that doesn’t enjoy (or, at the very least, find interesting) one of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories—even if you polled the most literature-hating students, they’d still be able to quoth the raven everslightly.

Poe’s stories and poems have a unique staying power with many readers, whether they’re keen on his Dark Romantic writing or hungry to latch onto anything taught in class to fuel angst-ridden high school years (*cough* totally was me *cough*). If the questions we get on eNotes are any indication of readers’ endless fascinations of Poe…it holds completely true. Our Homework Help content library is chock full of interesting questions that delve into Poe’s writing style, explain his important influences, and reveal some quirky bits of trivia. They are asked by students seeking essay help and by casual readers looking to expand their knowledge alike. Did you know that Poe had his own Sherlock-esque character, or that gifts mysteriously appear on his tombstone? If not, read on.

Here are ten fascinating eNotes Homework Help questions to help you learn a little bit more about the man behind the masque.

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1. What inspired Edgar Allan Poe to write?

Poe probably considered himself primarily a poet, and he wrote poetry to express his feelings. There never has been much money in poetry, and Poe was always…continue reading 

2. Is it true that Edgar Allan Poe did not suffer from mental illness or drug addiction?

According to “Poe’s bitter enemy Dr. Thomas Dunn English,” Poe did not have a drug addiction…continue reading 

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3. In Poe’s literary works, how does he generally create mood?

The mood in a story is the atmosphere that pervades the work with the intention of evoking a certain emotion or feeling from the reader. Edgar Allan Poe evokes specific moods in his short stories in several ways.  Most of his stories are gloomy, horrific, and eerie…continue reading 

4. How did Edgar Allan Poe’s work reflect white American culture?

Part of the point of this question is to make you apply some version of what critics call “critical race theory” or “whiteness theory” to Poe…continue reading 

5. What was Edgar Allan Poe’s signature writing style?

Edgar Allan Poe wrote short stories and poems. His stories are of two types: horror stories, which are his most distinctive, and detective stories…continue reading 

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6. Do Edgar Allan Poe’s stories provide any information about his personal life?

While it is tempting to want to read many of Poe’s works as being about his own personal life, or even to assume they are autobiographical, generally this is known to be untrue…continue reading 

7. Did Transcendentalism affect Edgar Allan Poe’s writing?

Transcendentalism affected Edgar Allan Poe’s literature because he abhorred it. Poe’s writing, considered part of the American Romantic period, was Dark Romantic…continue reading 


8. Someone has left a bottle of cognac and roses on Edgar Allan Poe’s grave since 1949. Has anyone ever discovered who it is and why? Any ideas?

As the 207th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe falls on the 19th of January, 2016, speculation again revolves around the identity of the individual or individuals responsible for a decades-long tradition of placing three roses and half-empty bottle of cognac on the late poet and author’s grave…continue reading 

9. What are the similarities and differences between Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle when it comes to their writing styles, themes, and their method of “crime-solving”…

Arthur Conan Doyle did not shy away from acknowledging the influences upon his own writings—notably his American predecessor Edgar Allan Poe…continue reading 


10. Was Edgar Allan Poe insane?

Is Stephen King insane? Or any other author of horror and/or gothic fiction? Despite the dark nature of his poems and short stories, we don’t have the evidence to say whether he was mentally ill…continue reading (multiple answers!)

eNotes Homework Help is a great way to get homework help (it’s in the name!) or to simply learn something new. Read more of our answered Poe questions and his bio and works, and, as always, remember to ask your own questions to our team on any subject matter. Happy learning!