The Raven Essay

1829 words - 7 pages

“The Raven” is a magnificent piece by a very well known poet from the 19th century, Edgar Allan Poe. Poe was well known for his dark and haunting poetry. Along with writing poetry, Poe was also recognized for his Gothic-style short stories. “The Raven” is one of Poe’s greatest accomplishments and was even turned into recitals and numerous television appearances. “The Raven” tells a story about an unnamed narrator whose beloved Lenore has left him. A raven comes at different points throughout the poem and tells the narrator that he and his lover are “Nevermore.” Poe presents the downfall of the narrator’s mind through the raven and many chilling events. By thorough review and studying of Edgar Allan Poe’s work, one can fully understand the single effect, theme, and repetition in “The Raven.”
Many literary critics have observed and noted the use of single effect in Edgar Allan Poe’s works. In “The Raven,” Poe chooses single effect as a dominant attribute to the poem as a whole. Edgar Allan Poe is widely recognized for his use of darkness in many of his works. In “The Raven,” the darkness in the poem encourages the namelessness of Lenore and the despair of the speaker. The darkness the speaker sees beyond his door is actually Lenore. However, his beloved is still absent. The darkness the speaker sees is not only Lenore but it is also the dreaded raven. A shadow, which haunts his soul, is hidden in the darkness beyond his door. In the fifth stanza, it is no more a darkness but the word “Lenore” being echoed. In the sixth stanza, the haunting echo transforms into the wind and “nothing more!” In stanza 7, all the forms become a raven that speaks “Nevermore.” Poe also uses darkness in an effort to achieve clarity. The effort to differentiate between the nothingness and the darkness is a barrier that withholds the lucidity for which the reader searches. Lenore’s absence also furthers to another absence that mimics the human’s incapability to know and understand what is happening (Freedman). Along with darkness, Poe uses a vivid language to achieve his single effect. Poe arranges time, place, and other details rapidly and clearly. He chooses each word carefully and requires that its meaning relates to the poem as a whole. Stanza 2 enhances and distinguishes the vivid effect Poe has already made (“Edgar Allan Poe” 52). “The Raven” is narrated from a first person tone which has a tone in the language of sorrow, weariness, and self-destructive thinking (Edwards). The contradictions of the poem and also the reflections that haunt the speaker are mostly unavoidable circumstances of the language that Poe chooses. Poe uses phrases such as “dying embers,” “Midnight dreary,” and “in bleak December” to agonize and satiate the reader’s view of the setting. These carefully chosen words assume intriguing and fascinating shapes and forms in the poem. These opening pictures help draw the readers into the speaker’s deteriorating mind. The tone of the poem is...

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