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Edgar Allan Poe'S Influence On Stephen King

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Giles 1

Lauren Giles

Mrs. Jaus

English III

January 5, 2004

Edgar Allan Poe's Influence on Stephen King

It is in human nature to delve into the morbid realms of life, and both Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King do this in their writings. These two men appear to have an oddly similar morose obsession with death, terror, horror, and murder; many of Poe's and King's characters come to an untimely demise. In looking at both Poe's and King's works, one can see how Poe may have influenced King's writing.

Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King are two men who are separated by decades yet seem to be similar. Both suffer from alcoholism and seem to be fixated with death and the means of such. Stephen King is a descriptive writer, just as Poe is, but their ways of describing characters and setting are very different. While Poe uses excessively flowery language, King seems to follow the "less is more" standard. His writing style is uncomplicated and simply tells the reader what his characters look like and what they feel, such as in this passage from "Needful Things": "When Nettie saw Polly's white, puffy face and haggard eyes, her own fears, which had gnawed at her like sharp weasel's teeth as she walked over, were forgotten." The reader instantly knows much about both Nettie and Polly from this short passage. However, Poe seems to drag statements out and use confusing language, as in this passage from "The Fall of the House of Usher": "He admitted, however, although with hesitation, that much of the peculiar gloom which thus afflicted him could be traced to a more natural and far more palpable origin- to the severe and long continued illness-

Giles 2

in-deed to the evidently approaching dissolution- of a tenderly beloved sister- his sole companion for long years- his last and only relative on earth." Poe spent fifty-nine words saying that the narrator's friend

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