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Friend Or Foe In The Illusion Of Wisdom

882 words - 4 pages

In the mind of allusions, wisdom may be something of a question when brought about by someone’s melancholy. Misery has a tendency to cloud ones judgment when it comes to rational thinking. This is exactly what Edgar Allan Poe portrays in his poem, “The Raven.” Poe’s poem was published in three different papers in 1845, within the timeframe of not two months (Miller 126). John H. Ingram believes the story to be a possible “hoax” because the question of what is or is not real comes to life. Though Ingram’s idea of the meaning in “The Raven” may be correct, a connection can be found that will lead to the idea of pure insanity for the narrator (2). Symbols are the fabric of connections between ...view middle of the document...

The raven also symbolizes a possible, though strange, friend to the narrator. At one point he starts to wonder if this raven is there as a prophet sent from God and not the Devil. According to Barry B. Powell in ancient Greece some spoke of men who “[utter] oracles worthy of Phoebus Apollo himself” (209). Apollo is the Greek god of prophecy whose symbol often portrays a raven. This thought leads the narrator to see the bird as a messenger telling him that he will no longer suffer or be sorrowful. He will be released from his burden and begin to live again. To be free again without the pain of his lost loved one. The raven could be a savior to break him out of his prison of depression and send him back to the world whole once more. The unnamed narrator is hopeful that the bird symbolizes a friend appearing to help.
The allusion becomes two sided when fear seeps into his suspicions of the bird. Thus creating the scarcity that the raven is there as a harbinger of death. The narrator has done nothing but mourn since the loss of his Lenore. Instead of facing facts, bucking up, and moving on, he makes no use of his life and continues to be distraught. He basically disables himself from being able to live mentally and now sees no proof as to why he should continue living. Life is such a cherishable thing so he may not deserve to keep living when he does nothing of worth. The narrator...

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