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The Raven- poem critical analysis

The Raven- poem critical analysis - Sisson 1 The Raven...

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Sisson 1 “The Raven”, written by Edgar Allen Poe, symbolizes the loss of a loved one through the author’s personal experiences. Although the main theme of the poem is beauty, sadness is the highest manifestation of beauty, therefore making the poem seem upsetting rather than beautiful to most. Of all the painful topics to choose from, Poe decided to use the one that was universally understood: death. More specifically he wrote about death involving a loved one. The reader could look at “The Raven” in various ways, consequently analyzing it through psychological insight or the writer’s word choice. In Poe’s essay The Philosophy of Composition , he explains his purpose in writing “The Raven” and describes how he constructed the poem.   Poe states, "Regarding then, Beauty as my province, my next question referred to the tone of its highest manifestation- and all experience has shown that this tone is one of sadness. Beauty of whatever kind in its supreme development invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears. Melancholy is thus the most legitimate of all the poetical tones." Poe explains that every piece of the poem is based on complete logic; for example, the raven entering the chamber to avoid a storm and landing on a “pallid white bust” was written to create a visual contrast between the whiteness of the bust and the blackness of the bird. He also claims that no aspect is an accident but is completely under his control. Even the term "Nevermore" is used because of the effect created by the long vowel sounds. Poe experimented with the long o sound throughout many of his other poems. When thinking of the topic of “The Raven”, Poe chose the death of a beautiful woman because it is the most poetic topic in the world. This brought the feelings of “beautiful sadness” to the reader meaning that some readers
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Sisson 2 see the beauty but most do not look into the poem enough. “The Raven” was thought of as an experiment that would appeal to popular and critical tastes, as well as be understandable to both the typical and elite literary worlds (Barr).
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