Comparing Richard Cory and Miniver Cheevy Essay

Comparing Richard Cory and Miniver Cheevy Essay

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In Edwin Arlington Robinson’s poems, “Richard Cory” and “Miniver Cheevy” the main characters are portrayed as outcasts. Both are shunned from society neither having any real friends. Though these characters have some similarities, the way in which Robinson portrays them is very different. Richard Cory is admired by his peers, where as, Miniver Cheevy is opposite; people look down on him. One man appearing to have everything takes his own life, while the other appearing to have nothing accepts his misery.
For Richard Cory, the saying money can’t buy happiness, could not be more appropriate. He is, according to the people of the town, the man with everything. Everyone wished they could be more like him, “he had everything to make us wish that we were in his place”. In contrast Miniver Cheevy, had nothing to be admired for, he had done nothing with his life and yet he longed to have the adoration that Richard Cory had, the respect and almost kingly qualities, “he was a gentleman from sole to crown”. Miniver Cheevy wanted to be the hero that Cory was to the people on the street. “Miniver mourned the ripe renown that made so many a name so fragrant.”
”Richard Cory” is told from an outsider’s point of view, so that the reader does not gain any more insight into Cory’s mind then the people on the pavement. This also adds to the surprise when Cory, seemingly happy, puts a bullet in his head. Richard Cory had no friends the people of the town never really saw him as a person, in fact they never saw him at all, the “people on the pavement looked at him”, never spoke to him, he was only something to admire. He was a god in their eyes, almost holier than thou, “and he was rich-yes, richer than a king” yet He rarely spoke but when h...


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...t it. He could not accept his life and so his only escape was to drink and so he did.
In both of these poems Robinson portrays the outcast within society. One seemingly well off and content with his life, the other outwardly miserable. Because the people on the pavement hold Richard Cory in such high esteem he becomes an outcast within their society. Miniver Cheevy has done nothing society has told him to therefore he is society’s outcast. Neither of theses characters are accepted in their own life and neither can face another day. They both have a need to escape the present, they choose to do this in different ways, Richard Cory takes his life, and Miniver Cheevy drinks and pretends he is a knight in medieval times. Robinson effectively takes to characters and puts them into completely different settings and ends the poems with the same concept of misery.

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