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Literary Analysis Of The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe

681 words - 3 pages

Literary Analysis of The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

The life of Edgar Allan Poe was as morbid and melancholy as his works. After

the abandonment by his father and the disturbing death of his mother, both prominent

traveling actors, Edgar was reluctantly forced into orphanage. He was later taken into the

home of John Allan, a wealthy tobacco merchant. Their relationship was shaky, at best,

and the contention between the two would last until Allan's death, where his will left

nothing for Poe. Amidst these calamities, came only more distress. The death John

Allan's wife, the woman who cared for Poe after his mother died, and a large amount of

debts acquired from gambling that forced him into early resignation from the University

of Virginia, only sent Edgar into a deeper state of despair. But the most devastating blow

came when his beloved wife, Virginnia Clemm, died from the same disease his mother

perished from--consumption. The tragedies in Poe's life are reflected in his poem, "The

Raven," and can be predominately seen through the comparison between the loss of his

wife, and the narrators loss of Lenore.

The apparent tone in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" seemingly represents a very

painful condition of mind, an intellect sensitive to madness and the abyss of melancholy

brought upon by the death of a beloved lady. The parallelism of Poe's own personal

problems with those of the narrator in "The Raven," and the repetitive verse by the raven,

makes the reader aware of Poe's prominent tone of melancholy. A strong device for the

melancholic tone is Poe's life experiences. The narrator's sorrow for the lost Lenore is

paralleled with Poe's own grief regarding the death of his wife. Confined in the chamber

are memories of her who had frequented it. These ghostly recollections bring out a state

of eager anticipation in the reader to know and be relieved of the bewilderment that the

narrator and consequently Poe himself are experiencing; the narrator ponders whether he

will see his wife in the afterlife.

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