Richard Cory Poem Analysis Whenever Richard Cory went down town, We

Richard Cory Poem Analysis Whenever Richard Cory went down town, We

Length: 1212 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Richard Cory Poem Analysis Whenever Richard Cory went down town, We
people on the pavement looked at him:

Richard Cory Poem Analysis

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich - yes, richer than a king -
And admirably schooled in every grace;
In fine we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.

Poetry has been an important part of the English language for many
centuries. This art is so diverse and complete that some people spend
their life studying it and many still have a lot to learn from it,
even when approaching their death. Although the immensity of poetry
content, this text will treat of only one great poem written in 1897
by Edwin Arlington Robinson; Richard Cory. This sixteen lines short
story tells a lot about human irony. Richard Cory, a wealthy man,
admired and envied by those who consider themselves less fortunate
than he, unexpectedly commits suicide. The most intriguing part of
this poem is the reason why he shot himself when he had everything?
Through their own mental prejudices and exaggerations of reality, the
people, by putting Cory on a higher level than them, also erected a
communication barrier that later pushed Richard to commit suicide.

We know Richard Cory only through the way that “We people on the
pavement” see his exterior personality. Richard’s inner being, other
than when he committed suicide, is never explicitly evealed. In the
first fourteen lines of the poem all we learn about Richard Cory are
the images that ordinary people (us) have from such a man who is
almost seen as a king or a living god. First of all, in line two, the
villagers demonstrate that they feel inferior to Cory when they name
themselves the “people on the pavement”. This might have a connotation
with homeless people or beggars; in their opinion, Richard is seen as
a King “sole to crown” and them as his admiring subjects. Even his
name, Richard Cory, evokes the name of the king “Richard Coeur de
Lion”. Then, they describe him as a true gentleman, who was “always

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Richard Cory Poem Analysis Whenever Richard Cory went down town, We." 123HelpMe.com. 22 Apr 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=103535>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Irony in Richard Cory Essay

- Richard Cory was written in 1897 by Edwin Arlington Robinson. This sixteen line poem tells a lot about human irony. Richard Cory, a very wealthy man, admired and envied by those who consider themselves less fortunate than he, unexpectedly commits suicide. The most fascinating part of this poem is the reason why he shot himself when he had everything. Through their own mental prejudices and exaggerations of reality, the people, by putting Cory on a higher level than them, also created a communication barrier that later pushed Richard to commit suicide....   [tags: Richard Cory Analysis]

Research Papers
872 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Richard Cory, by Edwin Arlington Robinson

- The literary term that is most prominent in “Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson is theme. In “Richard Cory,” the poem tells the life of a man named Richard Cory. Richard Cory is portrayed as a man whom the people idolize, but in reality, Richard Cory deals with issues deep within himself that leads to his devastating suicide. In the poem, Richard Cory is believed to be superior in contrast to the working people. The poem states, “Whenever Richard Cory went down town, we people on the pavement looked at him” (754)....   [tags: Richard Cory Analysis]

Research Papers
952 words (2.7 pages)

Richard Cory 's ' The People On The Pavement ' Essay

- This poem thematically explains that wealth has no eternal purpose. Life is about the relationships you make and the impact you have on society. The person of interest in this poem is a man called Richard Cory. A distinguished figure said to have been the envy of everyone. From the way of in which he walks, to how he dresses, and how he relates to his community. The other entity in this poem is the “town’s people.” Known in the poem as the “people on the pavement”. The town’s people live and work in less desirable conditions....   [tags: Happiness, Meaning of life, Richard, Wealth]

Research Papers
943 words (2.7 pages)

Richard Cory, by Edwin Arlington Robinson Essay

- The narrator in “Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson is a low class working citizen telling the reader, in detail, about a distinguished gentleman named Richard Cory who eventually “put a bullet through his head.” Almost everyone, including the narrator, would stare at him with awe every time they saw him. He was “imperially slim”(4), always charismatic and well-dressed. He was extremely courteous and polite. He would please everyone’s heart with a simple “Good Morning.” Then the narrator soon explains that on “one calm summer night” he executes himself by putting a gun to his head....   [tags: Richard Cory Analysis]

Research Papers
668 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Interpretation of Richard Cory, by Edwin Arlington Robinson

- The poem, "Richard Cory" by Edwin Arlington Robinson is the classic pity-the-star story. It has been rumored that some people worshipped by the public eye are just regular people with regular problems, but honestly how big could their problems be. Richard Cory seems to be one of those heart-stopping, rolex-wearing famous people who had a regular problem or two. In scanning the poem line by line, its is easier to uncover meaning. The first line of the poem suggests that Richard Cory wasn't a common person among the people....   [tags: Richard Cory Analysis]

Research Papers
1260 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of The Poem ' Richard Cory '

- The seemingly-proud, handsome boy sits upright in his wooden desk chair. There is no noise only the sound of his rapidly beating heart pounding against his chest. The teenager clutches the metal barrel tightly and points the barrel of the gun at his head. He feels the chilling touch from the mouth of the gun on his warm flesh. Were there cruel judgements made about him from his so-called friends. Did he feel a great loneliness. Did his mind shout out that, Death will be my savior”. It is said that a person alone is in poor company....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, Poetry, Cannon, Irony]

Research Papers
1395 words (4 pages)

Richard Cory : What Brings Someone Happiness? Essay

- What brings someone happiness. Richard Cory is seen walking throughout town by himself and is described as good looking by the people there, but they also think of him as nonhuman and different from them whenever he didn’t talk to anyone and some of the townspeople wished they could be him because of his wealth but in the end he committed suicide. Showing that money doesn’t equal happiness, and this can be seen throughout the poem by his interaction with the people, the way they act around him, and his death....   [tags: Working class, Social class, Suicide, Greeting]

Research Papers
735 words (2.1 pages)

Essay Edwin Arlington Robinson's Poem Richard Cory

- Edwin Arlington Robinson's Poem "Richard Cory"      The poem “Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson is a poem written about the town aristocrat named Richard Cory. It is written with four quatrain stanzas with a rhyme scheme of a, b, a, b, for each stanza. The poet’s use of hyperboles and regal comparisons when describing Richard Cory help to elevate him above the townspeople, and his nonchalant mentioning of Cory’s suicide leaves the reader in a state of shock.      The first stanza of the poem introduces Richard Cory as a respected man of town....   [tags: Edwin Robinson Richard Cory Essays]

Research Papers
645 words (1.8 pages)

Money and Happiness: Poem Richard Corey by Edwin Arlington Robinson Essay examples

- Money and Happiness Edwin Arlington Robinson wrote a poem called “Richard Cory” about a man who has everything, or so it seems (McMahan). Richard Cory is said to have a very desirable life and that everyone wants to be like him. When you look at him it is implied that you are filled with envy and interest. Everything he does is doused on the front page and he appears to be a very happy man. However, the poem ends with a sad, tragic twist where Richard Cory commits suicide. In the story everyone looks at Richard Cory as having the ultimate happiness because he has money, good looks and success....   [tags: wealth, poem analysis]

Research Papers
1678 words (4.8 pages)

Irony in Edwin Arlington Robinson’s Poem, Richard Cory Essay

- In Edwin Arlington Robinson’s poem “Richard Cory,” things are not what they seem. People saw that Richard Cory had wealth, power, education, fame and good looks. They thought that all this brought Richard happiness. They all wanted to be like him . No one got to know who he was but only knew him for what he had. It seemed that he had everything yet it was not enough to make him happy. His wealth did not give him happiness nor did it bring him friends. Richards’s loneliness is what makes him kill himself....   [tags: Richard Cory Analysis]

Free Essays
430 words (1.2 pages)

Related Searches

quietly arrayed” and “always human when he talked.” By these two lines
the townspeople think that Cory never publicly displayed his wealth
and that he believed that even the poorest man deserved politeness and
respect. The way they use the word “always” before each of these
sentences suggest that the images they have of Richard’s external
appearance are seen as eternal truths. Moreover, the hero
unconsciously strengthens these false ideas when he simply says
“Good-morning”. It is easy to perceive their envy towards him in its
richness by looking at the emphasis that the author put on line nine
by adding the word, “yes”; “he was rich - yes, richer than a king”.
They also see Richard as someone who is “admirably schooled in every
grace”. When looking at the surface of this poem, the first three
stanzas only show people’s willingness to idealize and honour a man
that reflect their inside aspirations of having a perfect existence.
They wish they could be just like him. Then, they realize that they
are just workers and feel that they are stuck in this pattern (people
on the pavement).

Looking deeper within this poem permits us to comprehend why the
people are blind to see their own chance of having non-material values
such as a good surrounding; which Richard Cory has not. In this poem,
the collective "we" speaks as a unit. There is a significant contrasts
between this “unit” and Richard Cory when this “unit” is composed of
many compared to Richard who is alone. Cory, being set apart from
ordinary mortals, has no other choice than to live on a material
level. In contrast, the people; “worked, and waited for the light, and
went without the meat, and cursed the bread” and finally, they went on
living. Richard, wealthy as he was, did not live. Instead, he "put a
bullet through his head”. Why? It seems that life was difficult for
one and meaningless for the other. At least the people could bond
together and thus use spirituality to survive their hardships, giving
a sense to their lives. Moreover the author uses a lot of biblical
references such as "Meat" and "bread" in his poem to support this
argument; man does not live by bread alone, it is "the light" that
gives meaning. Richard, having no real surrounding, was lost into
darkness. So “on a calm summer night” includes the two characters
co-existing and contrasting together. Calm to the people who are
passively waiting for the light. The night to Richard Cory is totally
desperate and filled with loneliness. The people’s blindness is found
in the fact that they see only what they envy (material values, and
wealth) and forget what really kept them alive; social unity.

Unconsciously, the people who are pushed to become blind by life’s
difficulties, created a communication barrier with Richard Cory,
creating the meaninglessness in his life. In the whole poem, Richard
makes many attempts to communicate with others. Right in the first
lines, when he arrives in town, the people immediately isolate
themselves from him by looking at him from a lower level. Here again,
there is a contrast between Cory’s actions and the people’s passivity
("on we worked and waited"). “Whenever Richard Cory went down town”
suggest that Cory went in the village more then once. This, combined
with the fact that Richard’s general way of communicative attempt was
“always human” demonstrates that he really tried to talk with people.
This allegation is proved when he said “Good-morning”. Moreover, he
said it with fluttering pulses and he then glittered while walking;
showing perfectly the attitude of someone feeling rejected by others.
Besides, nowhere in the poem is it suggested that people try
approaching him or even answering him. The people, in their adoration,
have simply erected a barrier around themselves and it is very
possible to imagine their only reaction to Cory is admiration and
silence. Richard suicide can thus be seen as the result of the
constant and unconscious worship of the people imprisoning him. So it
is almost as if the people, unwillingly, pointed the gun at his head
and Richard Cory was the one who pulled the trigger.

Finally, the beauty of this poem is found in the fact that the motive
to Richard’s commitment to death will always remain a mystery. Thus,
then studied in depth, the most interesting part is probably to
imagine all the different interpretations that might lie under Cory’s
suicide. To conclude, this situational ironic story shows that
appearances do not always reflect the true picture of man’s inner
being. Richard Cory is not a King; he is human.
Return to 123HelpMe.com