Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven Essay
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Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven
Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” though parodied, republished, and altered countless times, has withstood the test of time as one of the most recognizable and famous works of poetry in the English language. Carefully measured stanzas with a fascinating rhyme scheme embedded throughout, together with the unique and completely individualistic style of its author, are but a few of the elements that combine to elevate this poem in the public eye. It reaches an as-yet-unparalleled plane of poetic excellence. It is imperative, then, for the reader to understand that the conflict presented in “The Raven” is not the commonly-assumed “Man vs. Animal,” as though to embody the plight of the man as he pits…show more content…
Our only other possible conclusion, then, is that the victim of dementia is the narrator. The bird is as innocent as he is ebony.
This man suffers, as many have, from the pangs of a pierced heart. He has been left alone after the death of his only true infatuation and has undoubtedly found that, contrary to the old adage, it is not better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. The “rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore” (95)- in fact a type and shadow of Poe’s own young bride, who at the time of this poem’s publication was suffering from fatal attack of tuberculosis- was no longer at his side, and our story-teller wonders if, however impossibly, he would ever clasp her to himself again.
At the bird’s appearance and apparent vocal articulation, he is at first impressed, then saddened. He compares this evening visitor as only another friend which will soon depart, just as “other friends have flown before” (58). But the raven again echoes quite aptly his one-word vocabulary, thus leading the man on to think more deeply about the possibilities that exist at this juncture. Somewhere deep inside him, he has realized that it doesn’t matter what question he poses, the bird will respond the same.
“Straight (he) wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and
Stanza 10: The Raven just sits there and says "nevermore." The narrator, a little spooked by the entire episode mutters the bird will probably just leave tomorrow.
Analysis: There is something in the word "nevermore" that brings despair to the narrator. He believes the raven is pouring out his soul with each utterance of the word, similar to the pouring out of the narrator's soul as he longs for the return of Lenore.
Stanza 11: The narrator rationalizes that the raven's repetition of "nevermore" has nothing to do with his own hopeless state, and that the word is the only one the bird knows. He creates a plausible story about the bird probably having escaped from his master who met an ill fate at sea.
Analysis: The narrator experiences the paranoia/denial cycle. He unreasonably believes the raven is some bad omen, which it then becomes, omens being nothing more than a negative psychological interpretation of an otherwise neutral event, followed by a complete negation with an implausible explanation. The narrator is nuts.
Stanza 12: The narrator wheels his chair around, stares at the bird, and attempts to figure out what this all means.
Analysis: Although the narrator draws no explicit conclusion, descriptive words such as "grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt" displays the narrator's negative attitude toward the strange visitor.