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"Alone" Analysis

750 words - 3 pages

Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “Alone” is a reflection of his childhood. The first lines tell the reader that the speaker never felt kindred with the other children. As you read on, it is apparent to the reader that someone dear to them passed when they were young. Looking at the diction, symbolism, and allusions used in this poem, we can see that the underlying theme is that lost love can cause desolation.

The word choice used in this poem helps to portray a mood of isolation. “And all I loved, I loved alone” (8). What the speaker is saying with this quote is that everything they found interest in, nobody else did, and therefore had nobody to share their life experiences with. Even from a young age, the speaker felt as if they were an outcast, and the loss of the loved one just intensified their loneliness. “Then- in my childhood, in the dawn, Of a most stormy life- was drawn, From every depth of good and ill, The mystery which binds me still” (9-12). The speaker felt that they had no control over their fate. No matter what happened, whether it be good or bad, the speaker felt abandoned and tormented a result of this ‘mystery’. When looking at line 12 itself, “The mystery which binds me still”, the ‘mystery’ is referring to the death of a significant person in the speaker’s life. Because of the use of the word mystery, the reader can conclude that it was a sudden death, and the speaker did not know why it happened.

The symbolism used aids the reader in understanding the pessimistic tone throughout the poem. “Then- in my childhood, in the dawn, Of a most stormy life…”(9-10). Using the word ‘stormy’ in order to describe a childhood shows that the speaker had a life full of disasters. During a storm, it is dark and gloomy outside, so most people are miserable. This is how the speaker felt when they were young. Going on to lines 17-20, it says, “17 From the lightning in the sky As it pass'd me flying by -- From the thunder, and the storm -- And the cloud that took the form”. Even though the...

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