The Danger Of Disregard In Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven

1162 Words 5 Pages
The Danger of Disregard A bird from hell, a man living through it, and a woman’s ghostly memory - the building blocks for the dark, chilling descriptions of Edgar Allen Poe’s short poetic thriller ‘The Raven’. This alluring tale recounts the night the narrator fell into ultimate hopelessness and distraught. The man had been reading through his books at the darkest hour of the night, when he began to hear a soft tapping resembling a knock. He was a loner, not used to visitors, so he was terrified to answer the door. Yet, behind the door was nothing but darkness. More taps, followed by a visit to the window, invited in a stubborn raven, and brought a delusional man to insanity. That insanity was surprisingly self-inflicted. Emotions long pent …show more content…
This is supported in the text when the narrator cries out for relief. Poe writes, ‘“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee, Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore; Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”’ (3). There’s a lot to analyze here. Poe uses many complicated, old fashioned words. Defining them makes what Poe is writing much clearer. Respite is to relieve temporarily, especially from anything distressing or trying. The Narrator is asking for relief, specifically of the haunting grief he feels for Lenore. Nepenthe is a fictional drug described in Homer's Odyssey that has the power to banish grief or trouble from a person's mind. The Narrator not only begs for relief in this passage, but relief and drugs. Lastly, to quaff is to drink (something, especially an alcoholic drink) heartily, which also can be defined as guzzling or chugging. The narrator really cries ‘Drink, oh drink this kind drug and forget!’. The grief of his lost Lenore is so great that the narrator is willing to turn to guzzling drugs to relieve his pain. Poe is blatantly telling the reader that suppressed feelings can lead to bad habits, especially physically harmful …show more content…
Again, The Raven strongly shows this. The text reads, “And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming, And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted—nevermore!” (3). In order to comprehend the implications of this ending, it is mandatory to analyze the raven’s significance in the story. What does the raven really mean? This has been up to debate ever since this piece was published. According to one favorable interpretation, the raven is symbolic of the ever-present and persistent grief for Lenore that the narrator struggles to ignore. No matter if this raven knows everything or simply knows the single word ‘nevermore’, Poe uses the raven as almost a metaphor, an analogy of sorts in this last stanza. The raven never leaves, and is unavoidable, but is never confronted successfully. The same circumstance applies to the grief the narrator feels - it just won’t go away because he won’t completely confront it. With the raven’s purpose set, the narrator’s reaction is left for analysis. He claims his soul from out that shadow shall be lifted nevermore. In other words, he states he can never relieve himself from the state he’s in. Poe also doesn’t

Related Documents