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Poe’s The Raven

Uploaded by gockets on Mar 20, 2004

Analysis of Poe’s The Raven

Poe’s “The Raven” is a prime example of gothic poetry at its’ finest. Poe utilizes rhythm and flow in an original fashion not only to draw his reader in, but to create the dark and empty tone inherent in all well-written gothic literature. Poe employs several other literary devices in his poem, such as the main character’s house, allusion to a mentally unstable narrator, an overall dark atmosphere and symbolism.

In much of gothic literature, the “house” is designed and written about to convey a dark, depressed, and somewhat ominous mood. The reader begins to see parallels between the house and the main character, whether they be physical, emotional, or both. This is the case in The Raven, as Poe describes the main character’s sitting room as a “chamber” with “sad…purple curtains” (Poe, para. 3). Later in the poem, he also describes how the Raven perches just above his chamber door, on a “pallid bust of Pallas,” causing the reader to imagine a room in which an ashen, eyeless Greek sculpture would seem in place.

Throughout “The Raven,” the main character’s view of the Raven changes quickly and dramatically many times. The narrator is at first weary and cautious of his unknown visitor, as he hears the tapping at his door and window. Once he opens his window and in flies the Raven, he is struck with a sort of odd happiness and respect for the bird, as he says, “then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling” (Poe, para. 8) and even goes as far as to call the Raven “lordly” (Poe, para. 8). As the narrator hears the Raven speak, he is slightly shocked, but takes it in stride and simply accepts the fact that the bird can talk. In stanza twelve we begin to see the transformation of the Raven from friend to foe in the main character’s mind. While the Raven is described as still making the narrator smile in the first line of the stanza, by the second-to-last, it is being described as “grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous” (Poe, para. 12). In the following stanza, the dislike for the “ungainly fowl” grows, as it is considered a wretch by our narrator (Poe, para. 14). By the third-to-last stanza, our narrator is actually screaming at the...

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Uploaded by:   gockets

Date:   03/20/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   4 pages (904 words)

Views:   21902

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