The Raven Symbolism

688 Words 3 Pages
Author Edgar Allan Poe once stated, “I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.” This quote displays Poe’s state of mind throughout his life, similar to characters he has portrayed in his writing. Several of Poe’s short stories and poems, include “The Raven”, a poem in which a raven answers questions asked by the narrator about his lost love, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, a story where a man kills an innocent elder, and “The Cask of Amontillado” which is a story where a man is murdered out of revenge. These three writings contain underlying themes that reflect the main characters mental struggles with various mental disorders. Three of Poe’s works of literature use the symbols of the raven, the old man’s eye, and the jester costume to teach the reader how various mental illnesses can destroy their life.

To begin, in the story written by Edgar Allan Poe entitled “The Raven”, the raven symbolizes the narrator’s struggle with grief and depression, as explained in the following quote, “Is there- is there balm in Gilead? –tell me- tell me, I implore! / Quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’” (Poe, 89, 90). This quote illustrates the raven which represents the
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On multiple occasions throughout the story, the narrator battled with paranoia. As evidenced in this quote, “It is impossible to say how the idea first entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day night.” (Poe,1), the text illustrates how the old man’s eye demonstrates the narrators unhealthy mindset, which negatively affects him throughout the entire story. These compulsive thoughts lead the narrator to believe that he had to kill the old man. As stated in the quote, the vulture eye ‘haunted’ him, leading him to become obsessive. Another piece of symbolism sharing similarities resides in the story, “The Cask of

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