Edgar Allan Poe?s The Raven Essay, Research Paper
Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, representing Poe’s own crisis, is oddly moving and eye-catching to the reader. In his essay entitled The Philosophy of Composition, Poe reveals his purpose in writing The Raven and also describes the work of constructing the poem as being calculated in all aspects. Of all the distressing topics, Poe wished to use the one that was universally understood, death, specifically death involving a loved one. The tone seemingly represents a very painful state of mind, an intellect receptive to insanity and the void of depression brought upon by the death of a beloved woman. When Poe had decided to use a refrain that repeated the word “nevermore,” he found that it would be most effective if he used a non-reasoning creature to utter the word. It would make little sense to use a human being, since another person could reason to answer the questions. The narrator tells what he remembers about the setting and action at the time of the Raven’s visit. It was December, the first month of winter and a time when the nights are longest, creating a mood of mystery. Both midnight and December symbolize closure, as midnight is the last hour of the day and December is the last month of the year. “Midnight” and “December” also represent the anticipation of something new, a change to happen. To set the mood, Poe uses mysterious and depressing words in these descriptions: “bleak,” “dying,” and “ghost.” To escape his heavy mood, the speaker has been reading; he says it was a vain attempt to “borrow / From my books surcease of sorrow,” that is, to find something in his books that would take his mind off the sadness he feels about his lost love, Lenore. He reveals that Lenore has died when he says that the angels call her by name. The phrase “from out my heart,” Poe claims, is used, in combination with the answer “Nevermore,” to let the narrator realize that he should not try to seek a moral in what has been previously narrated. The chamber in which the narrator is situated, is used to imply the loneliness of the man, and the mourning he feels for the loss of Lenore. The room is richly furnished, and reminds the narrator of his lost love, which helps to create an effect of beauty in the poem. The tempest outside is used to even more indicate the isolation of this man, to show a sharp contrast between the calmness in the chamber and the tempestuous night. Confined in the chamber are memories of her who had frequented it. These ghostly memories plant a motive in the reader to know of the bewilderment that plagues the narrator and consequently Poe himself; the narrator contemplates whether he will see his wife in the afterlife” A strong device for the sorrowful tone is Poe’s use of the first person. Poe used the first person by virtue of the situations in The Raven being directly influenced by Poe’s life experiences. Among many other misfortunes, including living a life of poverty and being orphaned at a young age, Poe’s beloved wife Virginia died after a long illness. After Virginia’s death, Poe tried to relieve his grief by drinking. A parallel is formed in The Raven between the arrogant actions of the raven towards the narrator and the taunting of alcohol towards Poe. The raven condescends that…
The rest of the paper is available free of charge to our registered users. The registration process just couldn’t be easier.
Log in or register now. It is all free!