Damned or Dreaming an Analysis of Dream Within a Dream

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Necrow
Words 1158
Pages 5
Jonatan Koren
Joseph Sterrett
Literatures in English 1: Form and Genre
13 October 2011
Damned or Dreaming Everyone has experienced struggle at some point. Whether it is a fight for food, for wealth, or simply for happiness, the conflicts fought can leave people tarnished and withered. In the case of Edgar Allan Poe, whose father abandoned the family and whose mother died of tuberculosis shortly after, final expiration came on a Baltimore hospital bed the evening of the 7th October in 1849. Poe had a myriad life struggles, and in A Dream Within a Dream, which questions reality and was one of his poems written in youth and, first published in the Flag of Our Union (Poe 89), his general distress is clear. Born Edgar Poe on the 19th of January 1809 and orphaned two years later, he was adopted by John & Frances Allan, whereby he received his middle name (Frank 18). “There is no doubt that Poe was a difficult child” (Krutch 25), but with such a tragic beginning to life, how could he be expected to act as if nothing was on his mind? During his adolescence, he wrote many poems that went unpublished. Poe notes in his prefix to Poems Written in Youth, “Private reasons – some of which have reference to the sin of plagiarism… have induced me… to re-publish these, the crude compositions of my earliest boyhood” (Poe 88). Though categorized as one of his ‘boyhood’ poems, A Dream within a Dream, did not make it into this collection, and it “was first published [after Poe’s death] in the March 31, 1849 edition of a Boston-based periodical called Flag of Our Union“ (Sova 73).
The poem begins with three rhyming lines, where Poe bids farewell to someone dear, kissing them upon their brow and then stating, “You are not wrong, to deem / That my days have been a dream ” (Poe 89). Poe’s dramatic childhood rooted in him “obsessions with death, the afterlife and the hold of…...

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