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Meaning of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven Essay

Assignment id 1013624
Discipline Other
Assignment type Essay
Words 2520
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Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" applies a raven itself as a symbol of the torture, largely the self-inflicted torture, of the narrator over his lost love, Lenore. The raven, it could be argued, is possibly a figment of the imagination of the narrator, obviously distraught over the death of Lenore. The narrator claims in the first stanza that he's weak and weary (731). He's almost napping as he hears the rapping at the door, which could quite possibly make the sound something he heard in a near dream-like state, not a genuine sound. He's terrified of being alone in the chamber he is in once the poem occurs. The "sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain thrilled me-filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before" (731). When the poem opens, he's reading over books of "forgotten lore" (731). His imagination is most likely already running wild. His surroundings are conducive to the situation he finds himself in. The word "chamber" itself implies a cold, rigid feel, like the narrator has shut himself away from everything in order to be alone to brood and torture himself. The words "ghost" and "dying ember" give the reader a feeling of discomfort, like something is not quite right with the circumstance. The narrator opens the chamber door into darkness, deep darkness, and silence. He stands there, fearing what is before him, "dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before" (732). December is also the time of year when most plants are dead, to which extent the narrator remarks that it's a "bleak December", making for a dismal scene both outside and inside the chamber. There's also a "tempest", a storm, brewing outside, not great for calming the spirits of the narrator. Thoughts are running through his head and it's safe to say that he's frightening himself more than the situation merits now. He says he has to still the beating of his heart by repeating beyond the door, "'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door" (731). He is literally trying to talk himself down from the frightened state he is in. The mind is the most powerful tool of one's imagination, and the narrator's is definitely working in overdrive. Given the language employed by the narrator and the surroundings he's placed himself in, an individual could feel that the whole story was a figment of the narrator's imagination. Just like when watching...

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