The Reality of the American Dream: The Poem Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson

999 Words Jun 24th, 2018 4 Pages
As Americans, many of us believe in this principle of the American Dream. The American Dream, in its simplicity, is the notion that anything, especially career wise, is achievable. We usually associate this concept with obtaining material things, such as cars or a fancy house. But, even if you achieve your American Dream, complete with a car and fancy house, does that really mean you achieved happiness? The poem “Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson is a testament to this idea that although someone may have everything there is to want, that does not really mean they have true happiness. The poem “Richard Cory” is a description and story of a man named Richard Cory, of course. The speaker of the poem is an impoverished, blue-collar …show more content…
They are not waiting for an actual light to save them, it is an expression used, especially in Biblical times, referring to salvation. These workers, who slave every day, are simply waiting on someone or something to come save them from this undesirable work. The last symbols in this poem are the meat and the bread. “The meat may represent and be an example of everything [the speaker] could not afford to have but wanted badly and valued highly, and the bread may represent and be an example of everything they could have but did not enjoy or appreciate” ("Overview: "Richard Cory""). These symbols are all further supporters of the overall theme of the poem. Why would this king, Richard Cory, who is generally liked and envied by these people on the pavement, commit suicide? Again, the answer is simple, he was not truly happy. The second main poetic device used by Robinson is irony. The apparent irony in the poem is the fact that Richard Cory killed himself. As I have discussed before, Richard Cory was this guy who had all of the things anyone could ask for. He had good-looks, money, intelligence, and was, for the most part, liked by everyone. The irony comes when the reader realizes that the majority of people would be unbelievably happy with this life. It is extremely appalling and ironic that Richard Cory could kill himself with this seemingly perfect life. The second piece of irony stems from the first. It is not necessarily the fact that