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Paper Five

1325 words - 6 pages

“Alone” by Edgar Allan Poe is a rhythmical poem describing, in first person, how they had grown up lonely without a lot of happiness. The twenty-two line poem is not split into stanzas, but the punctuation of the poem clearly outlines the different sections. When Poe wrote this poem, he must have been talking about his own childhood. The fact that the poem is in first person helps me to understand that Poe could have been talking about himself and how he felt growing up. Throughout life, people cannot always be happy. In order for there to be happiness, there has to be someone experiencing the opposite. Poe’s couplet poem gives us an underlying message that we must all take to heart—an unhappy childhood could lead to a treacherous adulthood. In order to appreciate this theme, we must take the poem apart and analyze the lines separately in order to get a full understanding.
The first lines of the poem sets the stage for the rest of it completely: “From childhood's hour I have not been/As others were;” (Poe lines 1-2). Given my view that Poe is writing about himself, he is simply stating that he was never like other children his age. He grew up in a different way than most children. Next comes the lines: “I have not seen/As others saw;” (Poe lines 2-3). Even when he was a child, he did not have the same outlook on life as other children.
Instead of seeing the upside of things, he probably saw the darker underbelly of them. All of those problems that adults are only supposed to see? He most likely was able to see them at a very young age. This is why he most likely was not able to accept what most children thought as normal.
The next part goes further into detail about how he stepped away from common things: “I could not bring/ My passions from a common spring” (Poe lines 3-4). Poe couldn’t simply take what was commonly accepted and just go with it as many children his age used to be able to do. He needed to analyze and understand why certain things happened, especially as most of the time, all of the wrong things happened to him. This could also mean that all of the things that Poe felt passionate about as a child was not interesting to other children. He could have been pushed further away from other children, because he had a hard time finding common ground with them. In the next section of the poem, Poe goes into even more detail about how atypical he was compared to his peers.
The next lines read: “From the same source I have not taken/ my sorrow; I could not awaken/ my heart to joy at the same tone” (Poe lines 5-7). He could not find it within himself to be sad that he was not interested in common things. In fact, he even goes as far as making a point to saying that he had tried but couldn’t find happiness in the things that others did. His heart did not find joy at the same tones that others found enjoyable. Poe must have chosen at an early age to not think too deeply about it, because it states very clearly in the poem that he had not...

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