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“The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 499
  • Category: The Raven

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The poem, “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe was one of his most famous piece of work done in literature. “The Raven” tells a story about an unnamed narrator who shows the deep depression and confusion of his wife Lenore leaving him. The narrator is mourning over his wife, Lenore. The Raven that appears in this poem is a symbol of misfortune, darkness and death. He hopes that the Raven will bring him good news about his wife and their future. Poe uses a gloomy, dark style of setting and symbolism to illustrate the Raven and the narrator’s emotional state.

The narrator begins the poem by introducing the setting of the poem, “Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December; and each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.” (Poe 218) This gives us the importance of the time of year and what time it is during the poem. As Poe states that the embers are burning out, meaning he’s been in his chamber wondering how he can get his beloved wife Lenore back. Also, the time of day, that is supposedly night, gives us an idea of how the setting can be gloomy or dark. The inner conflict between Poe and his overwhelming emotions from losing the love of his life, Lenore is the main theme portrayed in this poem. This conflict is very evident as you ready in-between the lines of what Poe is truly saying and feeling about losing his love. “Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow, from my books surcease of sorrow, sorrow for the lost Lenore (The Raven, line 9-10)”.

The consistent use of “nevermore” is a clear symbol of this conflict when the black raven appears in the beginning of the story. Poe’s grief and morning of Lenore start to dictate the imagery, symbolism and mood for the rest of the poem. Alliterations of the “w” words in the beginning of the poem exemplify the language used to support the gloomy, depressed mood of the narrator’s emotions. “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary (The Raven line 1). This alliteration and rhyming continues as he finishes this paragraph with “As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door only this and nothing more” (The Raven, line 4-6)”. The language, rhythm and alliteration of this poem are another constant theme the narrator portrays. He is constantly using this alliteration to express his emotional conflict behind his grief and depression. The refrain “nevermore” that is used later on in the poem stemmed from repeating “nothing more” in the beginning of his poem, the narrator gives off a melancholy and depressing mood as he uses such distinct phrases such as nothing more and nevermore, symbolizing the concreteness of death. “For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore, nameless here for evermore (The Raven, lines 11-12).  

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