The Elements Of Loss In Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven

Decent Essays
Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven combines elements of horror, sorrow, and the supernatural, while being driven by the atmosphere as its foremost vehicle to symbolically convey a struggle, which many of us identify with- coming to terms with loss. A distraught person whose beloved, Lenore, just died experiences the surge of an inescapable bitter truth, that comes in the form of a talking raven that just mutters one word: “Nevermore” (which was enough to send our narrator’s sanity, which was already on shaky grounds, into a permanent state of complete and helpless deterioration). The poem’s succession of events was carefully constructed and developed to deliver a tone that intrigues you and keeps you on the very edge of your seat, waiting…show more content…
We find out that his lover, Lenore, had died (while some people refuse to accept this and rule out the possibility that she had deserted him, I believe that it is much more fitting for the nature of the poem’s narrative than the latter, and as such I interpreted “lost” as died), and that his reading of the book was a failed attempt at drawing his thought and attention from the fact that he had lost her and at getting rid of the sorrow that had followed him ever since. We get a glimpse of his infatuation with her in his description of her as a rare and radiant maiden whose name was conferred to her by angels. One could also infer from that description the dilemma our speaker had found himself in: He needed to stop thinking about Lenore if he was to continue and move on with his life, but she had established such a dominion over him that he just simply ceased to think about anything else. For he, one could say, ephemerally derived some degree of pleasure from thinking about his memories with her, which was in many ways his only feasible source of pleasure, before shifting back to the morose, ineluctable, reality that she is gone forever. In other words, his only source of happiness was also his only cause of sadness; and he was simply bewildered with the utterly tragic nature of his situation, to which he had succumbed and felt helpless about changing to the extent that…show more content…
For instance, he portrayed the burning pieces of coal as creatures who, after gradually tapering, and upon finally disappearing, die and leave what resembles a ghost in the black ash they leave behind; he also found the sporadic swishing of purple, a color which, I’m sure, was not randomly, but deliberately, chosen by Poe for its unsettling and brash intensity, terrifying; so much so that an acute and overwhelming feeling of distress and horror enveloped his senses and caused his heart to spring into an episode of erratic beating, and his mind to fearfully brace the arrival of Lenore’s ghost, which prompted him to repeatedly calm himself by saying that it is nothing but a late visitor persistently looking for
Get Access