The Raven Essay, Research Paper
In ?The Raven? by Edgar Allan Poe, one sees the internal torment of a man in mourning for the lost love of a maiden, named Lenore that has died. The narrator expresses a sea of emotions over the vision of a raven haunting and taunting him.
As the man sits in his chamber he only seems to notice the negativity of his surroundings in a depressive state of mind over his lost. ?..A midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary?. He was, as many people seem to be when they are depressed, in a lethargic and calm state nearly sleeping. He then was disturb by a tapping noise and slowly grew from slight excitement into fear and nervousness over the commotion. ?And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before.? The narrator tried to rationalize the situation into some coincidental incident of someone at his door yet, there was no one there. To this he plainly states, ?Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,? only to perhaps start to question his sanity until he heard another noise. At this point in the poem one may clearly see his very painful condition and state of mind as he wishfully whispers the word ?Lenore?. The marginal state between idealism and reality has blurred.
As the narrator tensely turns to the window to ?explore? the disturbance, there the reader meets the raven that has entered into the room and placed himself above the chamber door. Now with this new component in the scene, the narrator ?explores? his inner thoughts and fear openly to the reader. The raven seems to amuse the narrator, ?Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, by the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore?. In a jocular manner the narrator initiates a conversation with the raven, still intrigued by its appearance, mannerism, and specially its name, Nevermore. The raven then becomes a materialized symbol of the narrators own inner self, ?The Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only that one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour?. Furthermore, the narrator is in the same manner sitting lonely in his chamber chair surrounded by all the things that remind him of his lost love. The narrators own soul is also being outpoured in that one word, for the permanent lost of his Lenore that he will ?nevermore? see again. The speaker does not seem to have any hope and drowns in his own sorrow as he does believe the raven to stay, ?On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before?. Just as Lenore has left him and since he put all his life, soul, and ?Hopes? on her he has no aspirations and positive outlook on anything anymore. The speaker tries to rationalize the replies of the Raven just as he tried to rationalize the noises heard before. The speaker then starts to question what the raven means by ?nevermore?. Now as the narrator sits reclining, looking at the raven and feeling uneasiness as its stares back at him as if it was looking into his soul, the memory of she, Lenore, comes to him to question where this bird has really come from. The relator believes that the raven has come from God and the heaven and the angels have sent him to remind the narrator of his lost love Lenore. Moreover, at this he becomes angry and fumes out at the bird, he now refers to it as ?a thing of evil? and at the same time a ?prophet?. At this point he becomes insolent in despair trying to get answers from the raven as to where it really comes from and whether he will ever see Lenore again. He becomes desperate in his quest to know when he will see her if ever again. When the raven answers him with ?nevermore? he becomes enraged and asks the bird to leave, for it had become a liar. He implores to be left alone in his loneliness in ?this home by Horror haunted?. However, the raven is still sitting above the chamber door.
The self-imposing torture that the narrator has to endure is a symptom of his pain for a lost love that he can not seem to recover from. The anguish of his pain has created a permanent vision for him to ponder on in his self-made hell, the chamber in which he resides. This melancholic man has all the characteristics of someone on the verge of a psychosis breakdown. His self-absorption over his lost that he seizes to live in a world outside of his memory filled chamber.