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Symbolism in the Raven, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 788

Essay

Most poems explore significant symbols that elaborate meaning and characters. Edgar Allan Poe’s “Raven” is a melancholy poem that presents a heartbroken man who had lost Lenore, his beloved. It reflects on Poe’s loneliness and how he uses the style of depicting death to reflect on the moments spent with his beloved wife, Virginia. The poem’s speaker encounters a raven while spending time in his room. Initially, the man believed that it was a visitor seeing him late at night but later finds it is a raven, and it descends on a Pallas (Poe 1). The man indicates that the raven will desert him like the people closest to him. When he continues talking with the raven, he deviates from reality and inquires the raven if Lenore and himself will be together in heaven. He is not amused by the raven and instead focuses on the “nevermore” word, whereby he realizes the authenticity of his dark thoughts. Thus, the man expresses anger towards the raven, accusing it of being evil (Poe 1). The poem concludes with the raven sitting on the Pallas and the man being overcome by madness and grief. Therefore, “The Raven” explores multiple symbols, such as the raven and Lenore, and themes of grief and madness, which demonstrate the narrator’s sorrow.

Edgar Allan Poe incorporates the raven symbol to reflect on long and mournful memories. In society, a raven is a dark bird associated with death and evil aspects, and it has similar features to a crow. The speaker indicates, “Evil bird/ His eyes are very evil.” (Poe 1, line 17). Besides, Poe uses the raven to elaborate on the sadness and sorrow experienced by the narrator. It reflects on the narrator’s grief after losing his beloved Lenore. The speaker states, “from my books, there is a depiction of sorrow for the lost Lenore.” (Poe 1, lines 10-12). The raven depicts the wisdom that the narrator acquires when he communicates with the raven. However, the narrator feels that the raven is an evil bird that has emerged to stop him from going to heaven to meet with his beloved Lenore (Harris 868). He states, “darkness there and nothing else.” (Poe 1, line 14). Thus, he believes that the raven symbolizes inevitable death that will not help him go to heaven.

Moreover, Lenore is a significant symbol that reflects the narrator’s life. In the poem, she is not an actual character. She depicts the narrator’s memories because the raven symbolizes death, which took away Lenore and induced unending torture on the narrator. He says, “other allies have gone before, and the bird said nevermore.” (Poe 1, lines 58-60). Hence, the speaker anticipates dying and joining his beloved in heaven, but he feels death is not calling him. Also, the narrator indicates, “I am sorrowful for my beloved Lenore.” (Poe 1, line 10). For example, Lenore is the narrator’s hope for eternal life, but the raven’s presence shows that death is inevitable.

Ultimately, Poe explores the themes of grief and madness in the poem. He explores the narrator’s grief after losing his beloved Lenore. The narrator states, “my soul is burning/sorrow for the radiant maiden, Lenore.” (Poe 1, line 11). This reflects on his grief as he recalls his memories with his beloved since they had created a powerful bond before she died. He indicates, “stop my isolation unbroken” (Poe 1, line 100). Therefore, the raven symbolizes the narrator’s grief since it represents death and evil aspects. Similarly, the theme of madness portrays the narrator’s insanity after losing his beloved. In the poem, the narrator struggles with the raven. He indicates, “Take your beak from my heart and your form from my door.” (Poe 1, lines 101-102). However, he has mental issues that affect his understanding and judgment in a real sense. For example, he becomes severely insane when the raven repeats the word “nevermore,” reflecting how grief has facilitated his devastating end.

Conclusion

“The Raven” explores multiple symbols, such as the raven and Lenore, and themes of grief and madness, demonstrating the narrator’s sorrow. Besides, Edgar Allan Poe incorporates the raven symbol to reflect on long and mournful memories. Furthermore, Lenore is a significant symbol that reflects the narrator’s life. Lastly, Poe explores the themes of grief and madness in the poem. He explores the narrator’s grief after losing his beloved Lenore. Therefore, the poem effectively depicts the author’s challenging life moment and how losing a loved one affects an individual’s well-being.

Works Cited

El Hachemi, Chemini. “Treating Melancholy Through Symbols in Edgar Allan Poe’s Poem, The Raven.” vol 2, no.1 Routledge (2020): pp 1-3 http://archives.univ-biskra.dz/bitstream/123456789/15988/1/Chemini_El_Hachemi.pdf

Harris, James C. “Edgar Allan Poe: The Raven.” Archives of general psychiatry vol 65, no.8 (2008): pp 868-869. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/210082

Poe, Edgar Allan. The raven. Lulu. com, vol4., no.2 (1964): pp 1 https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=DZzaDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&dq=Edgar+Allan+poe-the+raven&ots=TAQz6VElj2&sig=E-5JHvSvKa_R_pxiMzUOhLZAIrQ

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