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Edgar Allan Poe Question(s)

Poe often uses Gothic themes as central topics in his short stories and poetry. What is the significance of this? Why does Poe use the death of a loved one, strange, and unearthly settings, animals that have sinister character, and ominous meanings to common objects, in his stories and poems? Does it have anything to do with his personal life (It has been inferred that Poe was insane/and or an alcoholic as a result of his difficult childhood/life)?