The Raven poem by Edgar Allan Poe starts with a young student that is in his chamber during a stormy night and is just trying to study because his mind is preoccupied with his dead mistress n ad lover Lenore. He hears a knock at the door only to open and find no one, and so he assumes that it was the wind that had hit the door (Poe, 80). He opens the window, and a Raven flies into his room and sits on a statue. The student begins to speak to the Raven questioning him on several things and the Raven only responds by saying “Nevermore” to every query that he puts across (Poe, 81). The questions continue to be challenging and painful for the young man as they related to the death of Lenore. The Raven that had amused the student at the beginning ends up being viewed by the young man as satanic and just out to torture him. The poem received extensive attention internationally as it was published in the Raven and other Poems (1845) and became one of America’s most famous poems in history. The poem exploits many themes that are found throughout the poem that include the tragic death of the lady at a very tender age and also the grief of the young man whose affection for the deceased woman is evident throughout the poem. The poem is famous for extending the theme of loss and grief throughout its unfolding (Poe, 100).
The Raven was symbolic and the embodiment of the grief that was caused by the inherent loneliness and also the separation of the narrator and the lady that he cares about (Sova, 102). It is about the fascination that Poe had, and he uses the imagery of the young lovers that are bound together and also indicates that their strong sense of togetherness transcended even the death of one of the individuals. For Poe, while writing the poem, it was also an indication of the pain and also the misery that he went through as a young man when he lost his mother who had died a while back when he was slightly young (Sova, 103).
The Raven that was also once perceived as amusing since it was talking to the narrator because it could even respond to his questions later became a source of further despair and also grief because it is this that opened up the wounds in his heart. At the beginning of the poem before the arrival of the Raven he was just slightly thinking about the issue but the presence of the Raven led to further exploration of the loss of Lenore, and it is this that causes further agitation and even pain to the student more than he had previously felt. The Raven had misled him into a dark path of mourning all over again, and he feels as though it was a demonic force that had come to torture him and also torment him with the loss that he felt ingrained deep in his heart. The once amusing and lovely bird now turns as a demon to the young man, and he laments for having met the Raven. It could also be the indication of the amusement and also the joy that comes with having a loved one and also the love that they shared with Lenore over her lifetime. He holds some very fond memories that he bases his mind (Sova, 108-110). However, upon her death, it is this that he feels the pain that comes with loving someone and then end up losing them through any means. Just as he had lost the Lenore whom they shared so much fun and happy times, he had also realized that the once amusing and companion Raven had turned to something else just as his love had turned to pain, grief and a profound sense of loss upon the death of Lenore (Sova, 108-110).
The entire poem is about the pain and mourning of the loss of Lenore of the young man who is the narrator. The theme of loss and also the loss of his loved one is the one that makers the rolling of the poem a possibility throughout the poem. The poem asserts, “Vainly I had sought to borrow/ From my books surcease of sorrow–sorrow for the lost Lenore” (Poe lines 9-10). In fact, he is having some form of false hope that his lover will show up at his door one day, upon hearing the knock at his door he is convinced that it might be his long gone lover. He even thinks that he heard her name outside the door over the stormy night. It is an indication of the desperation that the loss and grief brought to the narrator with the hope that one day he will get to see his lost loved one (Poe and Ryan, 27).
The speaker goes further to indicate some form of obsession with Lenore and also his way of grieving through trying to whisper her name so that he could hear it echoed back (Sova, 109). He further insists to the Raven if it would find a way to bring Lenore back to him which further emphasizes the grief and also the desperation that he felt within his heart. Through his pain, he thinks that the raven had come to pass a message to him and also as a way for him to connect to the dead but when the raven responds by saying “Nevermore” it is this that freaks him out and orders it to leave his room. However in line 103, the raven remains seated in the chamber of the speaker as if to indicate the unending sorrow and desperation because now the narrator no longer wants to see the Raven as he perceives it as a dark force that is out to torment him. Just as the grief and the sorrow were unending so was the Raven not going despite the fact that the speaker tried to kick it out of his chamber (Poe and Ryan, 30).
The speaker had a strong sense of pain and darkness within his heart that came with the loss. In his way of grieving, he could feel the darkness overcome him, and the raven further made it worse. According to him, the shadow formed by the presence of the Raven was an indication of the shadow of darkness cast in his heart. Poe writes, “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!” (lines 106-107). It is an indication that the speaker is being tormented and also grieving over the shadow cast by the demise of Lenore, and the Raven indicated that perched at his chamber.
The weather of the night is also stormy and full of rage as if to indicate and further the theme of sorrow and grief in the poem (Poe and Ryan, 31). It is the winds that were giving him a false sense of the presence of Lenore through the feeling as if she was knocking on the door. It furthers his grief and also emphasizes on the stormy, life that the speaker leads due to the loss that befell him with the demise of Lenore who he cannot get out of his mind (Poe and Ryan, 32).
In conclusion, the theme of grief and loss is majorly emphasized within the Raven poem by Poe. He uses several forms of symbolism, and also imagery through the introduction of the raven, the weather and also further shows the emotions and also the thought that the speaker which is the one experiencing the grief through the loss of the love of his life Lenore. The speaker is destitute, devastated as he grief the loss of Lenore throughout the poem.
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