“Don't Judge a Book by its Cover”
“Richard Cory,” by Edward Arlington Robinson, is a poem where circumstances may not be, as it seems. This poem points out how people go through life judging a book only by its cover. “Richard Cory” highlights what the people long for, as a commoner. Though, the commoners do not see what the wealthy man deals with when he is not fluttering down the road. The poem expresses how money is not always everything. Irony plays a huge role in this poem and is played throughout it using different ironic approaches.
In the beginning, Richard Cory is brought out to be a quite wealthy man. Within the poem, Robinson makes himself a commoner who admires him. He walks through the city with his head held high, talking to the commoners like a celebrity. An illustration found in the poem,”He was a gentleman from sole to crown” (Robinson 3). A powerful man, who is eyed by everyone in his path is not who you think he is. “We people on the pavement looked at him” (Robinson 2), this just makes it even more evident that he is looked up to by the people. All of the commoners wished and prayed to be Richard Cory. Little did they know, he was a very depressed man.
The irony is the foundation for the poem, “Richard Cory.” One type of irony found in the poem is a tragic irony, which is when the words and conduct of the characters in the story or poem are contradicting, this is one of the key elements in the poem. Even looking at how the poem is formed or structured can play along with the irony. It seems to flow, but at the last line, it is different. Robinson writes, “Went home and put a bullet through his head.”(Robinson 16). It abruptly stops, and that's...