The Raven Essay

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In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” a man is disturbed on a chilly December night by an ominous raven. In “Danse Macabre” Steven King says “… we take refuge in make-believe terrors so the real ones don’t overwhelm us, freezing us in place and making it impossible to function in our day-to-day lives”, King’s quote could not be any more fitting for “The Raven”. This man, presumed to be a student speaking to his lost love, could merely be hallucinating. It could be nothing but a dream conjured up by the “volumes of forgotten lore” (Poe 2). Poe’s use of anaphora, dark themes, and antithesis allow “The Raven” to capture the essence of King’s quote. Poe uses anaphora to constantly remind the reader about the horror that the man is experiencing. Poe uses the raven to symbolize the loss that the man has felt. He has lost his beloved Lenore and he almost wants her to haunt him. He is disappointed to see that it is only a nasty black raven. Could the raven be a sign though? Could Lenore be reaching out to him from the great beyond? She probably is not doing that, but Poe always wants the man and the audience to be reminded of the loss the man has endured. Poe is constantly using the “-ore” because it is in the name of Lenore. When the raven says “Nevermore” one can sense the presence of Lenore. These similar sounds connect the name and the refrain, constantly haunting the speaker of his lost love. This masterful use of anaphora also reminds the reader that Lenore is dead! This brings it back to the King quote, especially the “make believe terrors” part. The man could simply be imagining or making this entire up as a way to cope with the loss of his beloved Lenore. The constant reminder of Lenore’s death and the stygian repetition of the “-ore” sound allow Poe to achieve his initial goal of getting the audience attached to this reading and wanting more. Poe

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