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The Use of Symbol in the Literature to Express Deep Meaning

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There are many authors that use different symbols to express deeper meaning into their literature. Many authors use symbols to intrigue the reader. While many uses it to communicate thought and feelings. Edgar Allan Poe frequently uses symbols in his work to fulfill a purpose. He utilizes symbols of death in many of his writings such as “The Raven”, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, and “Annabel Lee” to name a few. The meanings of Poe’s symbols are dark and disturbing to some. Although, Poe includes many other symbols in his stories. He predominantly speaks a form of darkness or death to help enlighten his message. Poe’s poetry has a good way of grabbing the reader’s attention and pulling the mind into the story as if it was a visual.

In the short story “The Raven”, Poe speaks of a young man sitting in his room half asleep. The setting is dark and gloomy. “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary” (Poe 862). The narrator has feelings of depression and sorrow after losing the love of his life Lenore. A raven comes into his room and starts to make him feel uncomfortable. The young man starts to talk, then freaks out as the bird can speak, but only to speak one word “Nevermore”. The narrator starts to lose sanity thinking the bird is the devil or evil. Poe illustration of the gloomy setting and symbols of the Raven. Demonstrates misfortune and death. Poe uses the Raven as a messenger of grief and darkness, which better illuminates the young man’s emotional state of mind. “And my soul from out the shadow that lies floating on the floor, shall be lifted” (Poe 865). The verbal repetition and dramatic tension help carry out the narrator’s disheartenment of losing his love (Edwards). Poe goes to create a strong tone and mood by using the Raven as the centerfold to death and being captured in a dark emotional state of mind.

Edgar Allan Poe’s Poem “Annabel Lee” was a rhyme scheme that was intended to be sung according to sources (Bily). The poem expresses dark past of love and death. A poem of truth and of great loss. Poe reflects love can still exist even after there is death. It seems as Poe wrote this poem expressing his feelings towards his deceased wife Virginia Poe. Some evidence may include Poe speaking about his wife “She was a young child and I was a child” (Poe 865). It is said Virginia was Poe’s first cousin (Stromberg). The marriage was creepy to many and disagreed with the arrangement, even the angels in heaven (Stromberg). Poe takes a moment to mention something to this extent in this poem. “The angels, not half so happy in Heaven, went envying her and me” (Poe 866). The poem brings insight to Poe’s deep dark past, as it represents symbols of love and death. Sources say Poe had a death obsession instead, of a life obsession (Stromberg). After reading several of his poetry; the obsession mentioned seems to be true.

The symbols Poe uses in “Tell-Tale Heart” consist of darkness, murder, guilt and mental insanity. A source emphasizes that Edgar Allan Poe did his work in the Dark Romantic movement of literature (Bouchard). The source addresses that dark romantics believe the world to be filled with mystery and foundations of the supernatural (Bouchard). The supernatural drives the narrator in “Tell-Tale Heart” insane. He is mentally unstable but truly a smart man, unable to fight his own demons. Poe is genius at expressing symbols such as the “Heart” which can be interpreted as guilt. The heart is heard beating loudly before killing the old man and when the police start to investigate. “Dissemble no more! I admit the deed! Tear up the planks! Here, Here! It is the beating of his hideous heart” (Poe 847). The “Eye” of the old man which seems to hold mysterious powers according to the narrator. “He had an eye of a vulture, a pale blue eye, with film over it” (Poe 843). Edgar Allan Poe’s way of writing this short story expressed excellent craftmanship of dark mystery. Poe’s symbols of murder and the actions leading up to it. Displays a good way of keeping the reader intrigued.

Edgar Allan Poe shows a great deal of himself in majority of his poetry and short stories. His life is mirrored through his characters, as he writes from experience of pain and despair. By focusing on his symbolisms, the reader can form enlightenment of Poe’s past dark substance. His writings bring insight to apart of his life hardly mentioned. The darkness in Poe’s mind, is said to be related from losing several of his family members to illnesses (Dante). However, the analysis and imagination he uses in his poetry is yet of genius statue (The Works of Edgar Allan Poe).

Poe uses symbols in his poetry, by including reality situations into unreal fancies. He is a great master of imagination (The Works of Edgar Allen Poe). Poe’s style of writing is highly finished, imaginative and classical. Although, his poetry is disturbing to some. Others may enjoy his edgy brilliance of literacy and expressiveness. Many readers can relate to some of Edgar Allen Poe’s work. It is a natural part of life to grieve, express fears, thoughts and speak of death. Edgar Allan Poe just had a dark and dreary way of applying that natural part of life into his literacy.

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