Richard Cory Ezra Farmer Essay

1237 Words5 Pages
Abigail Bauer
AP English

While reading the poems “Richard Cory” and “Ezra Farmer”, it is almost immediately evident which poem is an original and which is a parody. Both poems are clearly about men that are popular among those he meets, but once the reader looks beneath the surface, they notice how the diction plays an important role in relaying the theme to the audience it is presented to. In the poem “Richard Cory” written by Edwin Arlington Robinson, the theme being portrayed is that people are not always as how they seem.
In the first stanzas of each poem the differences are subtle yet noticeable. Robinson chooses to use the phrase “went down town” while the parody says “chose to go”. The differences in diction here show
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Ezra Farmer being a “well-dressed bloke” paints the picture that he is one to dress nice to draw attention to himself while in a crowd, or wherever he may be. The second line once again is the same except for the word “human” from Robinson’s “Richard Cory” is replaced with the word “courteous” in “Ezra Farmer.” The change of words shows the differences between the two characters; Richard Cory can carry a conversation with those around him while sounding like an average person unlike Ezra Farmer talks more polite to once again draw attention to him. This difference is noted in the remaining lines of the stanza as well when the narrator of “Richard Cory” says “but he fluttered pulses when he said, ‘Good-morning,’ and he glittered when he walked.” Though Richard Cory talks like the average person, people still feel special when he acknowledges them. On the contrary, the parody says “he always caused excitement when he spoke, and everybody watched him when he walked”, basically saying that though everyone was interested in hearing what Ezra Farmer had to say, everyone watches his every move; similar to how celebrities are treated by tabloids and the public.
Richard Cory and Ezra Farmer are both wealthy men, but their means of schooling seem to differ. While Richard

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