The poem, “The Raven,” written by Edgar Allen Poe shows the deep depression and confusion that the narrator is experiencing since the death of his beloved wife. The gloomy setting of the poem predicts the visit of the Raven, whom is a sign of misfortune, darkness, and death. Throughout the poem, the narrator is continually mourning his wife, Lenore. He secretly hopes that the Raven will bring good news regarding his wife and his future; however, the Raven informs him that he will forever remain depressed. Furthermore, Poe uses setting, strong word choice, and symbolism to illustrate the Raven as the messenger of darkness and explain the narrator’s emotional state.
Poe’s description of the setting creates the mood for the story, which in return allows the readers to infer that the Raven is a carrier of bad news. At the start of the poem, Poe describes the specific time with the phrase, “a midnight dreary” (1). The midnight is like any typical night without any exciting or interesting events taking place. This stillness and quietness suggests that there is something to come within the poem. Poe goes on to mention that it was a “bleak December,” which indicates that it was a time period filled with unhappiness and misery (6). Upon the arrival of the Raven, Poe describes the movement of the curtains as being “silken sad uncertain rustling,” which makes the setting perfect for the arrival of a dark figure such as the Raven (13).” The beginning of the poem sets adds to setting the mood of the story along with adding to Poe’s mysterious tone. Furthermore, when the Raven arrived Poe mentions that the narrator was “deep into that darkness peering” (25). The narrator’s surrounding outside his door is completely dark, which is to be expec...
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...ess, gloomy word choice, and the Raven, a symbol of trouble, to explain the state of the narrator’s future after the death of his wife. The entire poem showcases the pain the narrator has while mourning. The Raven is the deliverer of the news that he will remain in a state of deep depression for the remainder of his life. Metaphorically, the Raven represents never ending depression as darkness and sadness is present during its visit. The narrator’s surroundings also indicate this as his house, actions, and thoughts all indicate that he cannot escape his depression. Poe is very successful in using setting, specific words and phrases to tell the story of a brokenhearted and lonely man, mourning his loved wife.
Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Raven." The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 8th ed. Vol. 1. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2013. 688-91. Print
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