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Lesson 11: Paper 2, Poetry Analysis- The Raven - Book Report/Review Example

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“The Raven”: A Critical Analysis Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, “The Raven", first appeared in the New York Evening Mirror in 1845. The poem is now seen as part of Poe’s "The Philosophy of Composition, " which was published a year after the poem was written…
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Lesson 11: Paper 2, Poetry Analysis- The Raven
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Download file to see previous pages Every object, every sound, and even the imagination evoke the memory of the dear departed. Such an unfortunate person constantly struggles with sleeplessness and weariness. “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe reminds the readers of such an experience. A critical analysis of the poem based in the light of Poe’s philosophy is the thrust of this paper, with a close examination of the significance of the title and the symbolism which the bird carries. As the poem is marvelous in each aspect of it, it is difficult to praise it by pinpointing just one quality of it. The poem is great in all respects, be it in its composition, theme, or the beautiful appeal it creates among the readers. The theme, the structure, and the fine music in the poem blend into great perfection. The rhyming and the rhythm perfectly match with the painful mental situation of the narrator: “while I pondered, weak and weary, / napping, suddenly there came a tapping, / As of someone gently rapping, rapping” (Raven). The bird, raven, in the poem symbolizes the external darkness as well as the internal darkness in the subconscious mind of the poet. The repetition of the words like “nevermore”, “evermore”, and “nothing more” resonate in the poem enriching its theme, asserting the reality of the inevitability of death. It also adds music to the ears of the readers. The poet’s effort to convince himself that the bird is only repeating “its only stock and store” becomes futile as his mental torture only multiplies with the presence of the black bird. The musical beating of words like “napping”, “tapping”, and “rapping” at the opening of the poem not only gives a rhythmic effect to the poem but also reflect the restlessness of the poet. The poem is autobiographical. Poe’s wife, Virginia, was suffering of tuberculosis when he was composing the poem, “The Raven”. He was sure that his beloved would leave him shortly and the thought of the subsequent loneliness resulting from the inevitable separation was heavy on the poet. Lenore is the fictional name of his wife. His attempt to escape from the thought of death into the world of books or sleep turns futile, as he is haunted by the memory of her: “Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow/ From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore” (Raven). The raven, a non-reasoning creature, in the poem symbolizes this self-torture lying buried in his subconscious mind and it is brought out beautifully by seeking meaning in the sound produced by the bird. The poet thinks that the raven has appeared to remind him that he is condemned to live on earth while his beloved is far away in the underworld. Torn between his undying devotion to his beloved and the perpetual memory of her, the poet’s soul struggles to find a compromise. The poem at last ends with the truth that his soul shall never be lifted from the shadow: “And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor/ Shall be lifted - nevermore!” (Raven). He realizes that he is doomed to live with his sorrow for ever here in this world while his beloved has reached heaven. A look at what Poe has to say in his philosophy of poem can help the analysis of the poem here in a better way. He says, —"When it most closely allies itself to beauty: the death, then, of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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