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Analysis of A Dream Within a Dream by Edgar Allen Poe Essay

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‘A Dream Within A Dream’ was written by Edgar Allan Poe on 1849, the year that he was found dead because of substance abuse. Considering that the author had gone through many hard times throughout his life with the loss of his beloved ones, this poem might refer to the emotional pain he suffered that let him to question the reality of life. The poem is written in despair as the tone is a mixture of mystery, loneliness and despair. The poem deals with the speaker’s troubling idea that reality is just a dream as the narrator parts from his/her lover at first and then struggles to accept and live with the truth. The reader gets the sense of loneliness as the poem is full of imagery with metaphorically questioning and emotional words, taking…show more content…
The second most important image is the “surf-tormented shore”(line 13) as the speaker himself is standing next to one, and is unable to control the waves, thus becoming a metaphor again for time and life. The unpredictable quality of life and the chaos within his life demonstrate how little he can do to manipulate it as a very inactive verb “standing” is used. In the following lines as he loses the “golden sand” (line 15), the “pitiless waves”(line 22) represent life again as he’s asking God why he can’t do anything to stop these “pitiless waves”(line 22) that he knows are pitiless because they will not stop for him. This extended metaphor conveys the deeper meaning of life that passes by really fast and is just an illusion. These metaphors lead back to the main argument of life being nothing more than a dream, meaning the outer dream, which is what we see is life, and the inner dream, which is what we seem is our memories, and are all just dreams and illusions that we are unable to manipulate. The poem contains two stanzas with two different settings. One might not know much about the first stanza; however, in the second one the speaker is next to an ocean, perhaps, at a beach. So, while the first stanza symbolizes the mindset of the speaker, the inner dream, the second stanza symbolizes the outer dream which is what we see; life. The poem
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