Grief As A Main Motive in The Raven
The Raven: An analysis of the Five Stages of Grief
“The Raven,” a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1845, when taken literally is about the tortuous journey of a man as he experiences the five stages of grief due to the loss of his love Lenore, but when viewed on a spiritual level represents an internal battle of good vs. evil; the narrator struggles to win the losing battle of retaining his humanity but in the end succumbs to insanity. The narrator is visited by a raven; the raven is significant to understanding the narrator’s mental stability and emotions; the symbol of the raven, loneliness, death, and basically never ending hell, rather than the raven drives the narrator to madness. The raven itself seems to be a fabricated image that serves to give the narrator’s dark side and inner thoughts a tangible image. The narrator is able to remain calm and composed, though it’s just a façade weaved out of desperation, until the raven’s visit which causes him to unravel and ignite an internal battle that will lead to ultimate despair. The narrator’s deepening insanity can be seen through the narrator’s passage through the four main stages of grief and interactions with the symbolic raven.
In more detail, the speaker experiences the first stage of grief, denial, in the beginning of the poem. It can be seen in stanza 4, “And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, Lenore? / This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!” / Merely this, and nothing more. (Line 28-30) The speaker is deep in the denial stage; though Lenore is dead, he is hopeful that it might be her at his door. This is impossible but the narrator cannot see this through the fog of his denial. This is a common emotional and mental side effect of grief. Additionally, the narrator experiences denial when he tries to justify the tapping and rapping on his door, “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice; / Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore (33-34).” The speaker is desperately trying to prove that the sound is real and not a sign of his madness. The quotes prove that the narrator is going through denial that Lenore is in fact dead. Though this is a normal side effect of grief, the speaker’s insistence and hopefulness that Lenore is not dead suggests the beginning of his descendent into insanity and madness.
Next, the speaker enter the stage of anger. His anger is most prominent in stanzas 14, 15, and 17. The narrators anger has been building up and finally explodes out of him, “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee / Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore; / Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”(81-83) The speaker to confront the fact that Lenore is dead and reacts with anger, though not necessarily at the bird itself just due to his grief. The narrator’s anger is also evident when he curses the bird as evil. “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil–prophet still, if bird or devil! / By that heaven that bends above us–by that God we both adore. (91-92) ” The speaker has decided that the bird is an evil being and is growing increasingly angered and frustrated at its presence. Lastly, the narrator’s anger can be seen as he reacts to the news that he will never achieve internal peace, “ Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting / “Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore! / Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! / Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!” (97-100) The speaker entered a fit of rage and anger after realizing that the Raven is right. The speakers experience through the stage of anger revealed a startling secret, his loneliness. The narrator is very lonely and the raven exploited this causing the speaker to be filled with hysteria. The quotes prove that the raven is merely a figment of his imagination and a tangible representation of his depending insanity. The narrator’s deepest secret, loneliness, is known by the raven and the raven speaks his darkest thoughts.
Furthermore, the narrator experiences the next stage of grief, depression, throughout the poem but can be seen most heavily in stanza 2, “Eagerly I wished the morrow; – vainly I had sought to borrow / From my books surcease of sorrow – sorrow for the lost Lenore.” (Line 9-10)
These lines mark the initial introduction of Lenore and reveals that the narrator is mourning the loss of these mysterious Lenore. Additionally, it can be inferred that the narrator is wracked with grief over his lost love Lenore; He’s not reading for enjoyment but rather as a distraction from his anguish. Moreover, his depression can also be detected in stanza 18, “And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor / Shall be lifted – nevermore! (59-60) The narrator lost the battle and sinks back into a deeper depression than before; He knows that deep down the raven is right and he will never be ‘redeemed.’ These quotes reveal the beginning of the narrator’s downward spiral into insanity and the end of his battle with the Raven that left him emotionally and mentally broken.
Finally, at the end of the poem the narrator enters the last stage of grief, acceptance. The raven accepts that he will never be free from the weight of his grief and that the Raven is right, “And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor / Shall be lifted – nevermore! (59-60) This quote shows depression but also reveals the speakers acceptance of his everlasting suffering. The narrator’s acceptance can be seen in two ways. First, he can finally be accepting the fact that Lenore is dead and is never coming back. Second, the narrator is accepting the loss of his sanity and humanity.
In conclusion, it is clear from these interactions with the symbolic raven and the display of the stages of grief that the narrator is bordering insanity. In fact, Poe does an extraordinary job of utilizing the rhetoric device allegory to allow the story to have two intertwined meanings and the reader to read a hauntingly beautiful poem of a man’s descent into absolute madness. Overall, as the story progressed the raven succeeded in not only shattering the narrators hope and soul but also his sanity.
Literary Style Of The Raven
“The Raven” Tone v.s. Mood Essay
The tone and mood of a poem or piece of literature has a very great impact on the elements of a story. The tone is the author’s attitude toward the subject, while the mood is the emotion aroused in the reader which the author creates. Word choice affects the tone of the literary work, and mood is expressed through feelings and thoughts of the reader. In the poem “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe, the mood and tone of the poem are both established and are greatly influenced by the language of the poem. Therefore, three ways that the author conveys the tone to set the mood are through the author’s unique choice of words, literary devices, and sound and rhythm techniques.
First off, there are a few ways that Edgar Allan Poe’s use of language helps to convey the tone in order to set the mood. One way is that Poe starts off the poem with dark words, such as dreary, weary, bleak, dying, and sorrow. These words contribute to create a gloomy atmosphere, and depression is portrayed since the poem is about a man who mourns the death of his love. With the use of these words, a sad, lonely, and depressing mood is established. Another way language can help convey the tone to set the mood is that Poe is very descriptive in his writing, and “The Raven” is full of detail. Phrases such as “deep into the darkness” or “stillness gave no token” adds to a melancholy mood. These phrases create a feeling of silence and being completely alone as well. Finally, word choice whether positive or negative contributes in forming the mood of the poem.
Next, literary devices in “The Raven” conveys the tone to set the mood in a couple of ways. One way is through repetition, which is where the same words or phrases are repeated a couple of times to indicate the idea. For example, “Quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’” expresses a melancholy tone, which leads to a sad mood, since the man was agitated with only that one word “nevermore” being the answer to his questions. The word nevermore creates a sense of hopelessness, although it does answer the narrator’s questions as well. Another way that literary devices help to convey the tone to set the mood is through the use of alliteration (repeating the sound of the first consonant in a series of words). An example of alliteration in the poem is using words starting with “d”, like deep, darkness, doubting, dared, and dreaming. These words add to a sinister tone, which develops a sense of fear in the reader. Finally, literary devices add a sense of creativity to a poem.
Lastly, the sound and rhythm techniques used in the poem convey the tone in order to set the mood in many ways. One of these ways is that rhythm and sound both correspond with the narrator’s feelings and experiences. Sound and rhythm both bring forth a dark and dismal tone, leading to a despairing mood, and can have a singsong tone which might be haunting and create uneasiness . An example of a rhythm technique portrayed in the poem is internal rhyme (where the middle word rhymes with ending word), like “dreary” and “weary” in the first line of the poem. Another way that sound and rhythm techniques convey the tone to set the mood is through the use of onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia is an imitation of natural sounds, and an example of this in the poem is “rapping” and “tapping.” Such words make the reader curious and the strong, consistent sounds increase the speed of the poem and enhance the tone also. Finally, the patterns of sound and rhythm make the poem more interesting.
In conclusion, “The Raven” is influenced greatly by tone and mood. Word choice, literary devices, and sound and rhythm techniques or patterns all have an effect on the tone and mood. Tone and mood both change over the course of the poem as well. In the beginning of the poem, the tone was calm and slow since the narrator was recalling a flashback. However, by the end of the poem, the tone started to be panicky and frantic. The mood went from depressed to madness also. I personally believe that ‘The Raven” is a very well written poem, and it is very mysterious too. Overall, “The Raven” has a tone that distinguishes the mood of the poem very well.
Bleak And Sorrowful Feelings In The Raven Poem
Morals of Mourning in “The Raven”
Edgar Allen Poe lived a life of sadness and depression. His works usually depicted that quite well. One of his works that showed a lot of bleak and sorrowful feelings in it was his poem named “The Raven.” In the story a man is dozing in his home late at night after looking at some lore that he was using to distract himself. But he is woken up by a strange sound. The story basically explains how the man feels and what he is going through in his mind at this strange time. The lonely and sad man is actually trying to cope with the loss of a loved one, and Poe mentions what the man is trying to do, which could be taken as advice if one wanted it enough.
The man was reading some lore that is supposed to be old and unique, therefore giving it an interesting quality that makes him want to read it. But since it was late he was falling asleep while reading it. Then suddenly a soft tapping at his door woke him up and made him start thinking about what he was doing before he fell asleep. The man recalled reading those books to distract him, or to cease his sorrowful thinking for the lost Lenore (ln 10). Poe seems to be mentioning how the man was temporarily in relief both when he was reading and thinking about something else, and when he was asleep. When the man fell asleep he was finally taking a break from his troubles, as many have done and will do to escape for a time from reality.
When the strange sound awoke the man, he was frightened, but mustered up the courage to look outside and see what was going on. He had assumed there were some visitors at his door, but the fact that it was so late at night when he heard them is what made him so nervous. When he opened the door there was no one and nothing there, so he closed the door and moved on. But yet he heard another tapping, louder this time and was thinking, “maybe the tapping is from the window. When he opened it the bird stepped in with “many a flirt and flutter, (ln 37)” and actually fascinated the man into allowing the black bird to distract and interest him (ln 43). Poe could be saying that one might use just about anything to take their mind off of the sorrow and pain of losing a loved one. So even though the bird is a “ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore (ln 46), the man decided to acknowledge the presence of that bird and the personality the bird showed.
But the next few things the man does while talking with the bird is to allow the raven to bother him without even trying. When the man mentions aloud that he assumes the bird will eventually leave the raven says “Nevermore (ln 61).” In reality, a phrase such as this coming from a bird should not be taken seriously, but here is the start of the man’s madness as he starts to believe the raven anyway.
The man moved a chair to sit in front of the raven so he could better look at and talk to the bird. He wanted to know why the bird kept saying the word “Nevermore. (ln 73).” But as the man was thinking and guessing as to why the bird would say that, his thoughts soon wandered again to his lost love. The man said aloud to himself that “thy God hath lent thee – by these angels he has sent thee Respite – respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!” (ln 83) and that he should accept God’s gift and let it heal him. But the raven says “Nevermore” like as if the bird does not want the man to feel better (ln 85). Poe seems to mention yet again that taking your mind off of things that bother you for a time will help the healing process. Or at least it should.
So after the raven says the solemn word yet again and again at what just seems to be the wrong time, the man freaks out and starts demanding answers of the raven, as if the bird understood what he was saying. In reality, or in a sane man’s mind, the bird would not know what was being talked about, and yes the bird could be shooed away or blown off, which is probably what Poe could be referencing. Poe must be saying that yes it is ok to take one’s mind off of what is troubling them, but no, do not let what that trouble seep negativity into that activity, and do not let what activity that is being used seep negativity into one’s heart either.
Rhetorical Analysis: “The Raven” By Edgar Allen Poe
Edgar Allen Poe wrote the poem, “The Raven” in January of 1845 and upon the publication of his piece, he was met with great praise and critical success, despite having been a published author and journalist for many years. “The Raven” is deemed as one of Poe’s greatest poems for its structure, language, rhyme scheme, and for the story as a whole. It is a tale about a young man who is continuously grieving over the loss of his love “Lenore. ” A raven enters through the man’s window and sits on the bust of Pallas on the man’s chamber door. Every question the young man asks the raven he only receives one answer: “Nevermore. ” Because the raven can only speak this single word, each question the man asks only frustrates the man and reminds him of his loss. While this poem is critically acclaimed and considered one of the best poems ever written, the question is raised as to why. Could it be his poetic structure, or maybe a factor never been considered? Either way, “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe is seen as one of the best pieces of poetry ever written.
In order to understand what makes “The Raven” a great piece, one must look at the appeals it makes. At first look, it comes across as a being an ethos based writing, due to the fact that at this point in his career, Poe was already a very well established writer and poet. At a closer look however, it becomes clear that it is actually a pathos based piece. The reason being is that the story is about a man’s struggle to deal with the loss of his beloved. The piece begins and ends with this young man’s focus on the loss of his love, Lenore. It is only when the raven enters the piece that we begin to see this man’s distress in his loss. `Prophet!’ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil!By that Heaven that bends above us – by that God we both adore -Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore -Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore? ‘Quoth the raven, `Nevermore. ‘ `Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!’ I shrieked upstarting -`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!Leave my loneliness unbroken! – quit the bust above my door!Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!’Quoth the raven, `Nevermore. ‘ Because of his sorrow, the young man begins to question the reasoning of the raven’s presence, taking the raven as devil who has come from the banks of Hades to torture him over his loss of Lenore. Since Poe digs deeply into the loss of Lenore, the piece is based off pathos. Due to the fact that the story as a whole is based off of the young man’s loss of Lenore, it can also be assumed that the piece was also supposed to be based off pathos. Lenore is the focus of the young man’s sorrow, and his sorrow in turn is what leads to the story of the raven tormenting him. This sorrow the man faces and the torturing by the raven all play off the idea of pathos.
Poe’s vocabulary is also a very strong contributor to pathos in this piece. The language Poe uses is very dynamic and forthright, allowing for the piece to be viewed in the way Poe wanted to, instead of leaving his writing up for interpretation. The audience gains a better understanding behind the language, and that allows for a much stronger feeling about what the story really means, making for a deeper connection to the young man’s lost love. Poetic structure contributes to pathos since the story relies on its rhyme scheme and musicality. Due to the fact that the words are so closely connected rhyming wise, it give the reader a chance to read the poem as more of a song, instead of a story which allows for a deeper connection to the reader and the audience. It allows for more emotion to be put into it because it isn’t just a story to be read, but a piece to be experienced.
“The Raven”, which can be seen by its familiarity and acclaim, has a very broad audience, but was not intended for such a range of readers. Poe original focused for “The Raven” was a smaller audience because he released the poem in a periodical without the intent of reaching mass audiences. “The Raven” was simply a piece Poe created for a magazine that by chance made him an overnight sensation, and because of this it is possible to see the true audience. Since it was written for a small periodical, Poe understood that his poem would not be viewed by a large audience so his intent was not to write it for one. This can be seen in his writing style and content. The writing style of the piece uses a vast vocabulary and complex rhyme scheme that isn’t too often seen in standard poetic writings. The content has horror twist to it, which Poe used to narrow down the audience even more.
Despite using these tactics Poe manages to appeal to a larger audience than he would have expected, mostly due to its very emotionally driven story line. Emotion spawns from the loss of Lenore, but also from the insanities in which this young man goes through because of his loss. It also appeals on a bigger scale because of the poetic structure of the piece, due to the fact that the piece as a whole rhymes and has a very consistent flow to it. This gives the piece mass appeal for the reason that it can be enjoyed for its poetic structure alone and doesn’t need to appeal in the sense of literature. The raven appeals emotionally as an instigator to the young man’s feelings and acts as a torturer of young man. Because of the highly charged emotional content, “The Raven” is able to appeal to a greater audience than Poe intended for.
Although Poe attempted to appeal to a small demographic of readers, he ended up appealing to a much larger audience. Poe was able to utilize every piece of his writing to reach an audience much larger than the one he initially intended. Because he uses each piece individually and with a great amount of depth, he was able to compose a stronger piece and thereby able to appeal to a larger audience. He was able to create one of the best examples of poetry through the depth of his piece, demonstrating the overall importance of the “The Raven” in the history of literature.
Comparison Of The Raven Poem And Kubrick’s Horror Movie The Shining
It has been strongly argued that our routine language, however mundane it may appear, may be as poetic, precise and intentional as literary texts, leaving the literary and non-literary divide blurred. Linguistic creativity has been defined as the ¨way people use literary-like features¨, associated with poetry and highly valued literature, yet the definition of creativity is extremely broad, with researchers acknowledging the creative process, as well as the final creation as creative. (Swann, 2006, p.12). Creativity has many forms, one of which is literariness. Literariness refers to a quality of literature, something inherent, a value, or a reader´s interaction with a text as well as the text itself. (Swann, 2006, p.12). According to Carter, literariness is formed by the creativity of a text, which varies as it is evaluated by different creativities rather than a ¨essentialist creativity¨. (Carter, R., 2004, P.139). It is a matter of degree along a cline of creativity. This method of identifying creativity allows multiple forms of creativity to be considered although the theory appears to suggest literariness is determined by the amount of literary features it contains, which I suggest may trivialise the text. In deciding which texts to choose for analysis, I gave consideration to the BAAL criteria and I am confident both texts conform to the requirements for good ethical and professional practice. I have chosen the poem, ´The Raven´ by Edgar Allan Poe and a DVD blurb from the horror movie Stanley Kubrick´s 1980´s ´The Shining´ as I believe both texts to be similar. I view ´The Raven´ as a hybrid of a narrative and a poem portraying an eerie tale of a man who loses his mind. Equally Text 2, another hybrid tells a similar plot, with a man descending into madness in the form of a blurb, an advertisement, accompanying a creative production. I will demonstrate that both texts contain creative and literary evidence, demonstrating routine as well as literary texts can be creative.
Carter tells us of three approaches, Inherency, Sociocultural and Cognitive, which help identify creativity and ultimately the literary quality of a text. The Inherency Approach perceives creativity inherent within the text, such as the use of poetic function and artful language. The Sociocultural approach focuses on social and ideological issues, the consequence of beliefs and cultural differences, in particular contexts, that may influence our language use. Lastly, the Cognitive Approach considers the affect and interpretation of the text drawn on by the reader. (R. Carter, 1999 cited by J. Maybin and M. Pearce 2006 p.6). I believe, all three approaches fall short of fully identifying creativity, failing to completely explain why some texts are considered literary with the omission of poetic language such as academic texts or why some text have been persistently valued as literary throughout time, or how a text is considered literature with fragmented multiple meanings, allowing the reader to interpret a text in ways the author may have not anticipated. However, all three approaches do have their merits and due to the many forms creativity adopts through the text itself or the creative process, I believe it is vital to use all three approaches to analyse a text successfully.
Jakobson adopts Carter´s inherency approach claiming deviation, a poetic function, which disrupts the reader´s perceptions causing defamiliarisation, argued by Jakobson to be intertwined with literariness. (Jakobson cited by J. Maybin and M. Pearce 2006 p.16). Jakobson explains all utterances have at least one of the following functions, referential, emotive, conative, phatic, metalingual and poetic, with the most dominant feature defining the text. He claims a dominant poetic function indicates literariness. Text 1 demonstrates a dominant poetic function conveying a significant amount of deviation and parallelism. Graphological deviation is prevalent with the use of stanzas, each consisting of six lines and capital letters commencing each sentence. Phonological parallelism is ubiquitous with a rhyming scheme of ABCBBB and the grammatical parallelism of ¨rapping, ¨tapping¨ are produced for rhyming purposes with ¨chamber door¨, rhyming with the word ¨nevermore¨. These features foreground the text and allows the reader to identify it as a poem. However it is argued readers can be influenced to award a text with literariness based on the speech genre. Once it has been recognised the reader may read it differently. This could be further influenced by our upbringing and education where the definition of literariness is already defined by approved texts and we are taught to find meaning in literary texts when there may be none. (Bakhtin, 1986, cited by Maybin, J., and Pearce, M., 2006 p.14). Therefore, it is essential to acknowledge that individuals due to social practices may classify a text as creative and literary, simply by recognising its inherent features.
Text 1 conveys archaic lexis ¨Tis¨, ¨morrow¨ and ¨lore¨ and semantic deviation with the metaphor ¨dying ember wrought its ghost¨, which personifies fire. This is a formal property of Carter´s pattern-reforming choices demonstrating literariness. Alliteration is prevalent with, ¨weak and weary¨, the repetition of the consonant /w/ and ¨nodded, nearly napping¨ the repetition of /n/. Assonance of /ʊə/ in ¨forgotten lore¨, and /æ/ in ¨rare and radiant¨ consequently adding to the texts literariness. (J. Maybin and M. Pearce 2006 p.8-10).
In comparison, Text 2 demonstrates alliteration in ¨madness and murder¨ and ¨milestone of the macabre¨ with the repetition of /m/. Assonance is present with /ɒ/ in ¨isolated Overlook Hotel¨. Graphological deviation occurs with the elongation of ´Here´ in ¨Heeeere´s Johnny! ¨, quoting an infamous line from the movie. Jakobson tells us when direct lines are taken out of context, it can cause a ´split´ and ambiguity can occur, increasing the potential meaning and thus its creativeness. (Jakobson, R., 1960, cited by Thornborrow, J., 2006, P.56) There is evidence of elliptical syntactic structure, excluding verbs, ¨a member of your own family?¨ Carter claims ellipsis can be used deliberately to create an illusion of closeness. (Carter, R., 2004). The inclusion of multiple adjectives belonging to the semantic field of fear such as ¨terror¨, ¨macabre¨, ¨murder¨ and ¨monstrous¨ foregrounds the text intensifying suspense for the reader. (J. Maybin and M. Pearce 2006 p.8-10). Although Text 2 conveys poetic function, conative function dominates the text, in order to persuade the reader, therefore according to Jakobson, Text 1 would be valued as more literary than Text 2. However, I disagree with this view, adopting Eagleton´s perspective that ´one person´s normal may be another´s deviation´, signifying individuals may have fluctuating perspectives of what deviation is, for example, the archaic language indicated in Text 1 may appear irregular today, yet it was not the case when Poe wrote it in the nineteenth century. (Eagleton, T., cited by J. Maybin and M. Pearce 2006 p.11). This emphasises how creativity is not static and fluctuates with time and place. Thus deviation is highly subjective, varying for each individual and context. However it is clear, Text 2 is using poetic features to manipulate the relationship between reader and author for the purpose of persuading the reader.
The graphological parallelism of interrogative statements, in Text 2, demonstrates defamiliarisation, constructing an informal tone, imitating a conversation genre. Pennycook identifies hybrids as a new form of creativity, challenging the established notions of language. (Pennycook cited by J. Maybin and M. Pearce 2006 p.22). Nauman explains genre deviations, a genre echoing another genre, are exploited to ´make things strange´, foregrounding the text. (E301, CD-ROM Band 2: ´Raw Materials´). While this conforms to the Formalist ideas of creativity, it also adopts a sociocultural ideological function, exploited by the writer to capture the reader´s attention. Fairclough (1992) informs us of interdiscursivity, a hybrid of existing genres combined for specific sociocultural purpose. This concept has stemmed from Intertextuality (Kristeva, 1986), the theory that all discourse is influenced by past spoken and written texts, also present in Text 2 with ¨ Heeeere´s Johnny! ¨. However both require interpretation from the reader, and it is unclear if all readers are able to interpret intertextual references, due to diverse cultural backgrounds. Yet, it can be argued intertextual references are so entwined in literary and everyday discourse, they form a fundamental part of language, implying it is possible that neither the writer nor the reader are conscious of them as they occur so frequently.
Similarly, Bakhtin´s sociohistorical heteroglossic theory states texts carry ´many voices´, posing contextual and social connotations, which echo previous creations. Bakhtin argued literariness is conveyed through its context, manipulated by the author´s intentions. He claims this form of creativity suggests a transient, unrestrictive way of thinking, merging different genres, creating a novel pluralistic discourse to benefit society. (M. Bakhtin, cited by J. Maybin, 2006, p.435-440). Eagleton identifies literariness by suggesting the powerful members of society give a text value to influence and promote social values in society. Therefore the literariness given to a text disregards the notion of intrinsic quality and depends entirely on the ideologies embodied in the text, accompanied by the political complexities of the time. (T. Eagleton, 1983 cited by by J. Maybin and M. Pearce 2006 p.11-14) Text 1 highlights biblical references throughout the text such as ¨angels¨, emphasising religious significance, which may explain its popularity and literary value within society, enforcing cultural beliefs. The poem also focuses on the pain and anguish of personal loss through death, which strikes me as significant with the rising tensions of the time in America with the Civil war looming. In contrast Text 2 has less literary value as an advertisement, however the most important sociocultural issues of the 1980s were to earn money and the film industry was proving vital to the economy, while it was not used directly by the powerful members of society, undoubtedly they benefited from a stronger economy. With this in mind, I believe that both texts can be seen equally creative, however, I suggest that Text 1 is more literary, as it is more appreciated, simply by being an extract from a poem, and thus valued more by society, as a literary text than a blurb.
Cook argues the formal aspects of language invoke fictional worlds, allowing the reader to escape the restrictions of reality and to think creatively. Cook relates this to ´schema refreshing´, literary texts which invigorate and challenge our mental representation, a concept that establishes creativity in Carter´s cognitive model. (Cook, 2006 p.37-45). However Jeffries and Semino argue that not all people are affected by literary texts, insisting that some texts reinforce existing connotations. (Jeffries, 2001, Semino, 1997, cited by Swann 2006 p.14). Perhaps the metaphor of the fire in Text 1 triggers a different schema of warmth rather than a ghostly personification, either way the ambiguity is evidence for literariness, as it accessible to many interpretations. Jefferies also suggests a text may not always have to challenge the reader´s previous knowledge in Schema Refreshment, but may also reinforce what they already know, whether the text is being read for the first time or re-read. This also highlights the possibility that the reader may have previously encountered reviews, regarding Text 2, which may alter their opinion of the text.
Swann supports Cook, referring to story telling, an embedded social activity, as ¨mind intelligence¨. Similarly Text 1 is a narrative poem, combining poetry with a narrative, or story. Text 1 demonstrates an I-Narrators viewpoint by using the personal pronoun ¨I¨. The protagonist recollects a story, and tells it as if it was happening for the first time. Short suggests the writer deliberately manipulates the reader by withholding information as they are telling the story from a limited perspective. (M., Short, 1996, P.257-259) I would also argue that by writing from this viewpoint the text conforms to Bradford´s double pattern theory. Bradford informs us creativity can be identified according its polysemic value, a text´s resistance to closure. A text, which is monosemic, is expected to be less creative as it fails to challenge the reader´s perceptions. (R. Bradford, 1997, P.86-93). A narration from a third-person perspective is perceived as omnipresent, and less plausible to challenge the reader. In comparison, Text 2 utilizes a third-person narrator, demonstrating the writer´s omnipresence, creating ambiguity surrounding the identity of the author. Writers often adopt a third persona narrative to adopt differing viewpoints from their own suggesting a ´implied author´ to the reader. Equally, the reader must adjust to be a ´implied reader´ enabling the reader to completely emerge in the fictional world described by the writer. (M., Short, 1996, P.257-259). Ordinarily the third-person narrator enlightens the reader by giving information demonstrated by the declarative statements shown in the second paragraph ¨Torrance has never been there before¨, however this is immediately followed by a tag question ¨or has he?¨ which acts to forge uncertainty about the narrator. This suggests to the reader the narrator is no longer an omnipresent, but unusually limited, foregrounding and assisting in the suspense and mystery of the text.
Toolan suggests finiteness indicates creativity in connection with plot. Finiteness determines which sentences are essential to plot by assessing the finite verbs within a text. Finite verbs, verbs changed to show present or past meaning, can highlight an alteration in time. Text 1 highlights multiple finite verbs with ¨ I pondered¨, ¨I nodded¨, ¨came¨, and ¨I wished¨. Text 2 has fewer finite verbs with ¨plays¨ and ¨came¨, nevertheless according to Toolan this information is essential to plot. (M., Toolan, 2001, p.124-127). However, I believe that although finite verbs show creativity by strengthening crucial plot elements, other linguistic devices such as the parallelism of ¨chamber door¨ adds suspense and descriptive clauses such as ¨ midnight dreary¨ and ¨bleak December¨ and the choice to use a dark bird such as the raven all aid in emphasising a dark and mysterious aura crucial to plot.
Both texts use multimodality demonstrating creativity through new possibilities of interpretation. The images add meaning, causing deviation, foregrounding the text. They also portray social and cultural information giving the reader connotations to interpret. Text 2 uses a variety of images from the film, to entice the reader and to create an atmosphere of fear. All the images included are dark and frightening, in particular the main image, the protagonist with a sinister smile. However this is my interpretation of the images, it is important to note that not all people will interpret these images in the same way. The interpretation is dependent on cultural context, social and political factors. Cook argues connotations are numerous and loosely connected, resulting in various interpretations, causing confusion for the reader. (Cook, G., 2001, P.105 cited by Goodman, S., 2006 p. 253). Authors and advertisers frequently manipulate meaning to deviate away from the expected interpretation. However it could be precisely this ambiguity, which makes a text creative, the author must challenge the reader´s pre existing knowledge, to actively interact with the text. Although it is important to remember not all is a sign of creativity. In comparison, Text 1 has black and white illustrations by Gustave Doré to enhance a dark and eerie mood, accompanied by the raven, a bird with strong connotations of evil and setting the fiction at midnight in a ¨bleak December¨ influences the reader’s experience. Semino tells us images are combined with texts to help provide the reader with visual support of the mental space described by the writer. The illustrations are also creatively drawn and can be considered creative on their own. Although I believe multimodality enhances meaning communicated through a text, not all multimodality is creative, as we frequently encounter it in our daily routine such as road signs. The reader and their recognition of semiotic domains, the practices that employ one or more modalities, which vary according to our social and cultural background must move beyond the literal translation of the text and focus on the undertone, what is being inferred, to have a greater understanding, (Gee, 2003, cited by Goodman, S., 2006 p268)
Creativity emerges, also in the collaborative construction of reading, editing, and decision-making. Carter and Williams emphasize the importance of collaboration, rather than individual skill, suggesting that it is partly due to our Western traditional beliefs of creativity. The collaboration of text and images demonstrated in Text 1 is successfully used to create the illusion of a fictional world. As well as this, Poe is said to have taken inspiration from other successful writers such as Charles Dickens and drew upon his own experiences of lost love from the death of his wife. This highlights how Poe accessed available resources to construct new texts for his own purpose. In Western cultures creativity is recognized and valued only when it has been changed significantly enough to hold original properties. (Uta Papen and Karin Tusting, 2004, p.316). In contrast, Text 2 has been produced by multiple writers and advertising specialists utilizing market research in order to persuade readers successfully. These are both examples of meaning-making processes, which are considered creative. All meaning-making processes collect existing cultural resources for a purpose in a particular setting. However this definition is extremely broad, making it difficult to find a text that doesn’t have any creative element. (Uta Papen and Karin Tusting, 2004, p.315).
In conclusion I have analysed both texts and highlighted significant evidence of creativity and literariness. Text 1 has conveyed evidence of creativity by demonstrating a dominant poetic function, interdiscursivity, social value, multimodality and ambiguity. In comparison with Text 2, I found Text 1 to have more evidence of creativity due to a greater significance of social value, its narrative qualities and its high content of formal linguistic properties, therefore it has more literary value according to Carter´s cline theory. Nevertheless, Text 2 is still creative having demonstrated evidence of creativity and literariness with ambiguity, intertextuality, multimodality, being polysemic and its collaborative construction. The analysis has emphasized the diverse forms of creativity and demonstrated how they relate to different literary, cultural and socio-historical contexts. Creativity can be seen by the formal properties inherent in a text emphasising how both texts hold literary quality. It is also conveyed by creating ambiguity and meaning-making processes, creative acts involving the collection of resource to create something new for a specific purpose. By analysing all the different aspects of creativity that we are able to see forms of literariness in everyday as well as literary texts which is perhaps not expected by some individuals. I conclude there are many different forms of creativity, which we encounter, in our routine experiences suggesting they are deeply embedded in our society giving roots to literariness in formal texts. However, I believe the reader, what they classify as creative, their ability to read and interpret meaning and willingness for schema refreshment ultimately determines creativity and literariness.
The Raven’s Progressive Matrices: How Does It Work
The Raven’s Progressive Matrices is a set of visual problems used commonly to measure intelligence. The goal is to design an agent that can solve these problems just as humans can. To design such an agent, I will be using a combination of semantic networks and generate & test. Semantic networks are a form of knowledge representation that consists of nodes, links, and link labels (Winston, 1977, p. 19). An agent can use this representation of the problem to discern what the missing figure is. To get started, the agent needs to represent each of the figures given, and then use generate & test to create what the answer should be assuming the same transformations apply. The answer choice that is most similar to the generated figure would be what the agent chooses for the answer.
This problem is difficult because there isn’t a “correct” way to represent a Raven Progressive Matrix problem with semantic networks.
Figure 1. Challenge Problem D-12 (Raven, J. 2003, p. 235)
For example, in the above picture from Challenge Problem D-12, it is difficult to see initially what needs to be represented. It could be the name of the shape, the orientation of the objects in relation to each other, the number of objects, and many other possibilities. A simple semantic network to represent the transformation of the first row can be:
A: x top left of y B: x top of y, y top of z C: x top left of y, y left of z, z bottom left of w
A to B transformation: x remain the same, a new z which y is on top of
B to C transformation: x remains the same, y remains the same, a new w which z is on top of
Another one that may work can be:
A: x is same as y B: x is the same as y, y is same as z C: x is same as y, y same as z same as w
A to B transformation: x and y’s relationship is the same, a new z which maintains this relationship. x,y,z are all different shapes compared to last figure’s x,y.
B to C transformation: x and y and z’s relationship is the same, a new w which also keeps this going. x,y,z,w are all different shapes compared to last figure’s x,y,z.
These 2 knowledge representations can lead to different answers when applied to the last row:
G: x top left of y, top right of z H: x top left of y, z top right of y, w top right of z
G to H transformation: new z top left of y, new w top right of z
H to ? transformation: new shape a top left of z, new shape b top right of a.
Using the second rule:
G: x is same shape as y, y same shape as z H: x same shape as y, y same shape as z, z same shape as w
G to H transformation: new shapes z, which is same shape as y, and new shape w same as z. New x,y,z,w also has a different shape than last figure’s x,y.
H to ? transformation: new shape a, which is same shape as z, and new shape b, which is same as a. New a,b,x,y,z,w also has a different shape than last figure’s x,y,z,w.
The first rule will allow you to choose any answer choice that satisfies the transformation rule from H to ?, which is based on the spatial relationships between the new shapes, while the second rule will allow you to choose answers based on the shapes’ identities and how they are different compared to the last figure. Both of these rules unfortunately, do not solve this question, which goes to show that there may be rules that seem to explain the transformations yet isn’t correct.
Generate and test mitigates this issue by generating all possible transformations, and testing each case to see which transformation leads to the best answer choice. If there are multiple answer choices that fit a specific transformation, the answer is chosen by a weighting scheme. For example, figure A and figure B are different by a reflection, but can also be different by a rotation. The weights for the transformations is used choose between the rotation of figure C or the reflection of figure C. In this project, I would weight reflection over rotation because it is a more specific transformation, which is more unique.
This proposed solution do have some faults, namely, the weighting of the feature is arbitrary. There is no reason reflection should have a higher weight than rotation based on the data. Maybe this is true for most cases, but it can lead to a completely wrong result later on. A possible solution to this is to do a even generalized generate & test. Right now, we do generate & test using one weighting scheme, when we can generate & test multiple weighting schemes, and compare between the best results from each weighting scheme.
Edgar Allan Poe Examination of Writing Style
It cannot be denied that few writers can manage to match the prodigiousness of a work of the late, great Edgar Allan Poe. This is primarily due to Poe’s distinguishing style. Style can be defined as a combination of many literary elements that serve to individualize a writer’s work from that of others. The examination Poe’s use of symbolism, diction, and figurative language in some of his most famous works, including The Raven, The Cask of Amontillado, and The Masque of the Red Death, lead one to conclude that Poe has quite a distinct style.
To begin, Poe relies heavily on the use of symbolism to add depth and relatability to his short stories. For instance, The Cask of Amontillado illustrates the use of symbolism in the quote, A huge human foot d’or, in a field of azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel. Although this quote is describing Montresor’s (supposed) family crest, it also describes and represents the conflict between Montresor and Fortunato. Another instance of symbolism in Poe’s work can be found in The Raven: And the raven…still is sitting/On the bust of Pallas just above my chamber door/…the lamplight o’er him throws his shadow on the floor;/My soul from out that shadow…/Shall be lifted”nevermore! The many symbols embedded in the quote above assist more in the cementation than the creation of the story’s ominous mood, but nevertheless contribute to it; they also illustrate the overall meaning of the poem and what Poe is attempting to communicate to the reader (that the memories of his lost love are obstructing his would-be impending joy, leaving him ravaged by a fierce depression that, according to the raven, will not cease). The quote helps the audience to visualize the raven atop the statue and connect that physical situation to the conceptual one of the symbols mentioned. In addition, The Masque of the Red Death, being an allegory, obviously contains symbols left and right, many of which are exhibited in the quote, …he summoned…a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, …retired to the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys…a strong and lofty wall girdled it in…Prince Prospero entertained his friends with a masked ball…. In a nutshell, the symbols mentioned correspond as follows: the prince’s guests represent the human race, the abbey and the wall are physical barriers against the Red Death, Prince Prospero stands for the wealthy and/or privileged portion of society, and the masked ball symbolizes the guests’ denial of their imminent deaths to the pestilence. This contributes to the story by creating the allegory, i.e. giving most objects/concepts in the story a double meaning.
Next, Poe’s particular use of diction serves to create the eerie moods of his stories. For example, in the first two stanzas of The Raven alone, there are numerous instances of this, including midnight dreary, weak and weary, bleak December, each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor, and Nameless here for evermore, which add an ominous atmosphere to the already mysterious mood. As for The Masque of the Red Death, it is believed by some to be unique among Poe’s work as it is not entirely dark on the surface. Examples of words and phrases that exhibit this are extensive and magnificent, eccentric yet august, masked ball of the most unusual magnificence, voluptuous scene, irregularly disposed, windings of the suite, multitude of gaudy and fantastic appearances ghastly in the extreme, gay and magnificent revel, bold and fiery, barbaric lustre, much glare and glitter and piquancy and phantasm, arabesque figures with unsuited limbs, delirious fancies such as the madman fashions, and beautiful…wanton…bizarre…terrible…not a little of that which might have excited disgust. But then, there are periods of darkness, displayed via the use of words such as the redness and the horror of blood, gigantic clock of ebony, dull monotonous clang, the giddiest grew pale, uneasy cessation of all things, a stiffened corpse, Darkness and Decay and the Red Death, and illimitable dominion over all. The mood is quite varied; it seems to the reader that at one moment they are reveling with the revelers and all their strangeness, and at the next worried about how much time they have left, which one might suppose is the intention. Navigating the lines of Masque is an experience comparable to walking through a funhouse; there is such description of the bizarre and unorthodox that it seems all is distorted, and this, of course, plays a part in determining the story’s overall mood as well. Finally, diction is used in The Cask of Amontillado to aid in constructing its suspenseful mood as Montresor and Fortunato descend deeper and deeper into the catacombs and Fortunato’s imminent death looms nearer with each line. A few examples of this are through several suites of rooms, long and winding staircase, for many minutes, I paused again, and descended, passed on, and descending again. Although these three works and their individual moods are varied, Poe uses similar techniques to create the mood in each, thus piecing together his overall style.
Finally, Poe uses figurative language, such as imagery, irony, allusions, etc., frequently throughout his work in order to enhance his audiences’ understanding of his stories. First, in The Masque of the Red Death, the most impactful uses of figurative language are when Poe uses juxtaposition by writing, All these and security were within. Without was the Red Death to illustrate the stark contrast between the masquerade inside the abbey and the outside region beaten into submission by disease, and when he foreshadows the climax by saying, They resolved to leave means neither of ingress or egress, hinting at the possibility of someone entering/leaving the synthetic and supposed safe haven. Next, important instances of figurative language in The Cask of Amontillado include the use of irony in that the character who is murdered has the name Fortunato (which, ironically, means fortunate) and the various instances of imagery throughout the story, an example of which is the entire 68th paragraph, which describes the situation of bones and crypts in one area of the catacombs, assisting the reader in understanding the layout of the vault.. Lastly, in The Raven, the most critical of the numerous instances of figurative language lie in the multiple allusions to mythology (Perched upon a bust of Pallas…; Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore), which serve to illustrate both the raven’s wisdom and hellishness.
In conclusion, based on the analysis of Edgar Allan Poe’s use of symbolism, diction, and figurative language throughout his stories, it is clear that his style is fairly varied between his works, but he uses the same literary elements for different effects in each. He generally uses symbolism for depth, but how that depth affects the individual story it is being in used in is various. The diction he utilizes throughout his stories help to create their moods and even add suspense, and his use of numerous types of figurative language simply assist in enhancing a story as a whole. Overall, Poe writes in the same way that people of his time spoke, he uses extremely descriptive language, and his work is quite advanced; when these elements are displayed alongside one another in his stories, it is obvious that he is an extraordinary writer with a distinguishing style that will not be forgotten
Edgar Allan Poe Research Paper
The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? This quote shows how Edgar Allan Poe was obsessed with life and death because in it he explains that life and death is best left shadowy and vague. This means that life and death should be left a mystery.
His obsession started when he lost all of the important people in his life. Edgar was born January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was an orphan at a young age and taken in by his foster parents John Allan and Frances Allan. Poe grew to become one of the most known and respected writers in American history. Edgar Allan Poe mostly wrote horror and mystery stories and poems which were mostly inspired by his tragic life. In the poem Spirits of the Dead Poe questioned where people go when they die. However, in the poem The Raven Poe questions whether he is going to hell and if he will ever see his family members again. In the story The Masque of The Red Death, Poe writes about how you cannot cheat death. Poe was a misunderstood man who was constantly questioning the concept of Heaven and Hell.
Edgar Allan Poe lost many people in a short time including his mother, his foster mother, and his wife. This influenced Poe to write poems and stories about his loved ones, one story being Spirits of The Dead. This poem questions where people go when they die. One quote from Spirits of the Dead is be silent in that solitude which is not loneliness-for then This quote shows that dead people are in solitude and that death, loneliness, and solitude are all different state of being. The poem is about how the main character is at a graveyard and missing his loved one. He questions where the loved one is and when will he see them again. The main character says how the people in earth are around you again in death, when The spirits of the dead who stood In life before thee are again In death around thee This poem relates to Poe when his mom died. When Poe’s mother died, he was only adopted because of Frances. Shortly after he was adopted in 1812, Frances became very ill. John Allan started not to like Edgar because he thought of Edgar as ungrateful. In the book Edgar Allan Poe The Strange Man Standing in the Shadows by Charlotte Montague, John Allan was described as impulsive and quick tempered This often affected Poe when John took his rage out on him. John Allan was a tobacco merchant but Poe had no interest in it. In the article from poemuseum.com it explained that early poetic verses scrawled in a young Poe’s handwriting show how little interest Edgar had in the tobacco business. As Poe grew up, John Allan liked him less and less and soon disowned him after he was discharged from West Point. Edgar then started writing some of his first poems and stories. Poe then heard the news of his foster mother’s death. This was devastating for Poe because Frances was a very important person in his life. She was the only reason Edgar got adopted. She was always kind to him unlike John Allan. Therefore, her death was one of the reasons he wrote Spirits of the Dead. The poem Spirits of the Dead also states that where people go when they die is a mystery of mysteries. When Poe got older he got married to his cousin. He loved his wife a lot but money was always tight as stated in Edgar Allan Poe Museum. However, Virginia, his wife caught tuberculosis which was a disease that infects your lungs. Virginia eventually died, which left Poe devastated and unable to write for months according to poemuseum.com. Therefore, Edgar Allan Poe’s writing was inspired by the death’s of the people closest to him.
Another poem that is about the death of his loved ones is The Raven. In this poem, the setting is the main character’s chamber or bedroom. The poem starts, Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary. This line explains how the day is dreary and that the main character is very tired. It was in a bleak December and he eagerly I/he wished the morrow;-vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow-sorrow for the lost Lenore- This line from the poem explains how the main character is trying to distract his mind with a book so he will not think of Lenore’s death. He was disturbed by a knocking on the window and thought it was Lenore, his dead wife. The main character was terrified when he heard the knocking. The main character thinks, And the silken, sad, uncertain, rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me-filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; This line from the poem shows how the main character is thrilled by the curtains. The main character is thrilled because he likes to be scared since nothing exciting happened to him. However the It was a raven that was actually at his window. The main character is very lonely since Lenore died. A line in the poem that supports this is, For the rare and radiant maiden who the angels named Lenore- Nameless here for evermore. The main character starts to ask the raven if he will ever see Lenore again. In the poem Lenore is actually Virginia, Poe’s dead wife, and wants to know if he will ever see Virginia again. The raven says, Nevermore which enrages the speaker. Near the end of the story, he yells at the raven, prophet! Said I, thing of evil-prophet still if bird or devil- This shows how the main character is scared and enraged at the raven, and in this case, death. In the story, the raven symbolizes death. The raven hints that the main character is going to hell, and will never see Lenore again when, Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door! Quoth the raven, Nevermore. This shows how the raven will be with the main character even when he dies. At the end of the poem, the main character dies and writes, And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating in the floor Shall be lifted-nevermore! Poe wrote this poem to question if he will ever see his loved ones again. Poe wanted to know this because he missed all of his loved ones including his mom, his foster mother, and his wife. His writing subjects were based off his hard life. An example being The Tell Tale Heart when the main character takes his rage out on an old man just because of his eye. This rage symbolizes the rage that Poe had on the men in his life. His life affected the way he dressed, which was very formal but very dark. His past life also affected the way he criticized other authors writing. During Poe’s life, he always thought that he was a bad person and was afraid to die. He thought that he was going to hell because of his life choices such as drinking and being very critical to other people’s writing. Poe wrote this poem to express his feelings of never seeing his family again. According to HomeCivicNational News, One by one, everyone he loved (including his foster mother, his older brother, and his young wife Virginia) died before him. This passage shows how Edgar lost all of the important people in his life.However, Edgar Allan Poe wanted to know if he will ever see his loved ones again and if he was going ro hell in The Raven.
The Masque of The Red Death is a story that talks about how you cannot cheat death, because it will come and take you eventually. The story starts off by explaining what the red death was, There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. However, the red death was not real. Poe based it off of the black death and tuberculosis. The story continues by describing Prince Prospero, Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. However, Prince Prospero was selfish because he tried to avoid the red death when he, summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court When the people he called were in his castle, he held a masquerade. The story then explains Prince Prospero’s castle and the different colored rooms, These windows were of stained glass whose color varied in accordance with the prevailing hue of the decorations of the chamber into which it opened. The different colored rooms represent your lifespan, blue being your birth, purple being your young years, green your teen years and going into adulthood, orange being your early adulthood, white your older years of adulthood, dark purple being your last years of life, and red being death. The waltzers all danced in these rooms but they tried to avoid the red room, But in the western or black chamber the effect of the fire-light that streamed upon the dark hangings through the blood tinted panes, was ghastly in the extreme, and produced so wild a look upon the countenances of those who entered, that there were few of the company bold enough to set foot within its precincts at all There was also a giant ebony clock in the red room.
(conclusion)Poe was found outside a tavern six days later after he left for Philadelphia. He was delirious and drunk. Poe was not in his own clothes when he was found. He was rushed to the hospital and was in and out of consciousness. Four days later he died. There are many theories of why he died. One of the most common theories is he died of a brain tumor. Another theory is that he died of too much alcohol. No one knows the true cause of his death. Despite his untimely death, Edgar Allan Poe brought to light the darkness of his thoughts and his opinion of the afterlife. He questioned concepts that many people are afraid of, and that is why he is one of the most famous writers in American History.
The Themes and Literary Styles of Edgar Allen Poe
Edgar Allan Poe was born January 19th, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts, the child of two actors. He was then adopted by the Allan family after his father abandoned him and his mother passed away. Living in Virginia, he attended the University of Virginia for only one year, due to lack of money, and was recruited into the army by his father. His time at the army was short lived, and he soon returned home. Soon after he married his thirteen year old cousin, and by the time he was 40 died, although the cause of death is unknown.
Poe is well known for his different style of literary criticism, as well as the gothic genre in which he wrote. He commonly used literary styles and techniques such as personification, symbolism, and imagery, to portray different aspects of life in his story’s. His work in specific go into depth on how death and love has affected the human, by personifying objects to spread a message. This allowed him to become one of the most influential and popular authors of his time.
Poe’s constant theme of death was one of the main things that made home stand out from other authors at the time, as most authors weren’t accustomed to that style of writing. He drew his inspiration for many of his works, such as the Raven, from real life experiences. As he grew up many family members, his mother, father and wife, passed away so he had a lot of material to work with. Death was an interesting theme for an author to use at this time because it differed from the norm that most writers were used to, and helped deviate Poe from the average writer. This also brought the gothic literature genre into the spotlight of English literature, allowing Poe to become vastly successful.
A common literary style that Poe perfected, and helped portray his theme of death in the story was personification. In one such novel, the Raven, he personifies the Raven, having it constantly say Nevermore, causing the main character to begin to feel traumatized. This is having to do with the main character’s love dying. This is a very impactful piece of literature because is gives perspective on how traumatic losing a loved one can be, and how destructive it can be in the mind. This is shown when the narrator begins to go insane as the Raven constantly says nevermore. The personification of the Raven gives the Raven a more main character role, rather than a side character, as it has a major impact on the story, had it not been for the personification. Personification becomes a key aspect in many of his stories, as it allows him to create a more immense image, with a more complete style.
The many sufferings that Poe had to deal with growing up, greatly affected him as a poet. The death of his mother caused him to experience death at a young age, with the feeling always sticking with him. He was so compelling was a wild genius who drew his inspiration either directly from the supernatural or directly from a bottle of rum (Green 275). Through the death of his wife, he was able to gain inspirations for many stories. One of which, The Raven, is known as one of the greatest poems of all time, and is still popular today. The abandonment of his father allowed him to tap into his inner loneliness and solitude when writing his poem, and helped him develop a new theme that was not commonly used among authors.
The way Poe used Death, with the pain and intensity of its internal reality, is unmatched by any author. His short stories express the dread of human life, the nervousness of life and fear of death, and create the ultimate spectacle of death. He manifests memories in a way that seems like there will soon be happiness, Yet it permeates the poems perhaps even more than the tales for there is nothing grotesque or fantastic about them (Zayed 280). Through his stories, Poe show the readers that death is everywhere, as well as how it is unavoidable. When using death in his poetry rather than his stories, he makes death less aggressive, without the hero dealing with a tragic struggle.
The Raven had many literary styles in it that helped make it so impactful. A minor one that is less important than personification was the repetition. Poe used repetition to help convey the Raven, and allow it to become a character. By having the Raven constantly repeat the word Nevermore he gave the Raven an identity, that had a major impact on the narrator of the story. Repetition also informed the author that this was an important part of the story, and caused focus to what was being repeated, as it clearly was necessary to the story.
The symbol of the mistress in the Raven was very prominent, and was a key part of the story. She represented the love and happiness of the character. This also shows how since she died, he has not experienced these common pleasures. The death of his mistress has inspired him vastly, allowing him to show how much death can impact a characters life. It also shows that through his experience with death, he has become less and less of who he was before, causing him to turn too alcohol. Although this is a bad thing, this self deprivation allowed him to write stories with that same feeling, a difficult task for the average poet.
Poe’s Gothic tales often consist of characters who wage internal conflicts. They do this by creating imaginary alter egos or they will assume alternate personalities, that differ from their norm. In William Wilson, the split personality takes the form of the narrators imagined double, as he tracks the narrator throughout Europe. The narrators sense of an articulate identity, is threatened by this rival, as it is shown that the character is unable to escape from his own superfluous characteristics. The narrator used the alternate personality to deviate from his own insanity. His inner upheaval is projected onto his alter ego, which allows him to forget that the trouble originates within him. The ultimate parallel and irrefutable comparability to the narrator, causes this alter ego to become a permanent rival of the self.
Often times in his stories, Poe allows the concept of memory to bring the dead back to life. Similar to the common literary theme of this era, Poe contorted it by bringing the dead literally back to life, something not usually seen in stories. He uses this memory as the trigger to reawaken the dead, which is the central theme of these stories, with the dead most often being women. By combining the reawakening of the dead with loss of a loved one, he creates a generally unique story, that is difficult for many writers to create.
Poe most notably used this theme in his story Ligeia. Ligeia is one of Poe’s less known stories, even though it is the perfect example of what he wrote about, and the themes that he used. Ligeia tells the story of an unnamed narrator, who cannot recount how he met his wife. A key characteristic of his wife is that he says her hair is as black as a Raven. Ravens, as most people know, are a common symbol for Poe, that he uses in many works, most notably The Raven. His wife eventually dies, and he remarries to another woman. She eventually dies as well, but he keeps her corpse. This is significant because her corpse comes back to life, and dies again, and later that night when it comes back to life, it is his first wife Ligeia, rather than the second wife.
The motive of this story is that the husband cannot stop thinking about his first wife, Ligeia, even after her death and his remarriage. When his second wife Rowena begins to die, these reprised memories come back to life and take a physical form. These memories eventually become so intense that he sees Ligeia in the bedroom that he shares with his new wife, showing how he never forgot about her. Although most people who read Ligeia believe that Poe was emphasizing his own psychological conflicts, others examine the tale as a consciously contrived story of the supernatural with, possibly, allegorical overtones (Shi 134).
Poe’s darker theme of love, was mostly in part of his constant image of death.
Life Then Before Edgar Allan Poe
Mysterious vibes flow with this name. Many of us heard this name before but not many know the kind of writing he has done. Edgar Allan Poe, most famously know for writing The Raven, has different writing than most poets we’ve heard about.
Poets usually write about romance or the loss of a special dear one that was close to us, but not quite no one like Poe. Edgar A. Poe had a writing style of romanticizing death and how someone could go insane. Theres a lot of play with words like repeating the same words like Nevermore in The Raven to show how the mental decline of a person that is slowly going into madness. The most common themes in his writing would be typically like a very beautiful young lady that would die in like the poem Annabel Lee. Some of his writings would be about people that were close to him that had passed away for example To Helen. His dark themes are still appraised in modern literature that there is a whole museum dedicated to his life time in the earth and how he lived as a person in the house that he lived in for four years in Richmond, VA.
Edgar Poe was born in January 19, 1809 to actors Eliza Poe and David Poe Jr in Boston, Massachusetts. His home was a broken home. His father left his mother when he was a baby and his mother died of tuberculosis the very next year after David left them. Unfortunate events of how much he has lost when he was very young, but the best poets are inspired always by something in their life. Edgar then began to live with foster parents in Richmond, Virginia. Now this completed his famously renowned name Edgar Allan Poe. John Valentine Allan and his wife Frances owned a tobacco business that was very successful. Edgar Allan Poe grew up there and started to develop his poetic skills that by the age of 13, he was a very creative writer. His foster father didn’t like him writing poems and stories so he would discourage Poe. John Allan would try to push Poe into the business world he created with tobacco, but Poe refused and continued writing. He sometimes would end up writing on the back of papers from the business his foster father owned.
The business excelled but John Allan didn’t give much of the profits of the business for him to go to college. As Poe got older, he decided to go to the University of Virginia in 1826 and excelled in all his classes. Poe enrolled to study language. The only problem there was that there wasn’t enough money to cover the costs of his tuition, so Poe turned into gambling to see if he could get money to cover the costs of his university. Edgar A. Poe started to drink a lot and soon after became an alcoholic. Things turned out badly for him and ended in debt. When things could just get worse, his fiancee Sarah Elmira Royster had cheated on him and decided to be engaged with someone else. In all the frustration and being heartbroken with the news, Edgar A. Poe dropped all his studies and decided to move to Boston..
Poe eventually decided to join the military in 1827 with a false name and age. He has nothing else left since he didn’t finish college and neither had no prior job experience. He couldn’t go back to his foster parents since John and Edgar didn’t quite get along well, so he had no choice. Per usual, he did very well and was later ranked to sergeant major. His love of language was not forgotten and he ended up writing and publishing his first book Tamerlane and other poems under a simple pseudonym, a Bostonian. Edgar still wasn’t satisfied but he was able to leave his position three years early under one condition. Poe got more news of his foster family and heard that Mrs. Allan was suffering from tuberculosis and was bound to her death bed. Sadly, Edgar didn’t make it on time and Mrs. Allan passed away. John Allan finally started to soften up and wanted to reconcile with Edgar. John’s condition was for Poe to attend the West Point Military Academy. John helped Edgar apply to the United States of America Military Academy in West Point. While waiting to get appointed and to be accepted in the Academy, he lived with his grandmother, aunt, brother Henry and youngest cousin, Virginia.
Virginia started to become Edgar’s love interest, besides being so young. Mr. Poe had to leave already to star this new journey at the Military Academy by 1830. Edgar Poe was a cadet in the military academy but had to leave because John Allan had started to refuse to send Poe any money to pay the Academy. In his time there, he was quarreling with his foster father because he had remarried without telling Poe. Rumor says that he stopped doing on what he was being told so he could be dismissed from the Academy because he hated John. He was then disowned from his foster father by 1831 and went to continue on living with his family in Baltimore. By 1834, John Allan died.
Now Poe was so in love with Virginia at the age of 26, so he decided to marry his cousin that was only at the age of 13 (she was practically half his age). It’s weird now, but before that happened frequently. It was purportedly a loving relationship with some debate that it was either romantic or them just being great pals who were married and related. They got married in May 16, 1836.
His writing career was pretty average. It wasn’t like this explicit tragedy like Van Gogh who never got to sell a single piece but there wasn’t a rock at the stardom like Mozart or Justin Bieber. Poe suffered like many authors at the time, at the hand of the publishers who were happy to publish but not so happy to pay. This means that although Poe was one of the first in America to make a living as a writer, it was just barely a living, but his luck started to change when he landed a job as a critic for Richmond newspaper. Maybe it was just bitterness from his past that he had, but Edgar Allan Poe was hard on everyone. He was nicknamed The Tomahawk Man And he literally came after everyone. This made him a lot of enemies but also brought some level of fame. He was like a 19th century Keemstar (I know it’s a bad metaphor). He left the newspaper place in 1837. It was said that his problems with alcohol was a contributor for Poe leaving. Poe also was publishing works like The Tales of the Grotesque and Arabasque which explored the gruesome and thrilling writing style he is best known for today. Poe also published The Murders on the Rue Morgue which is well credited as the detective fiction genre. I honestly just think it’s just a whole lot of monkey business.
Poe moves to New York in 1844. He published a story in the New York Sun that he was on a hot air ballon that went all across the Atlantic Ocean. Edgar then confessed that the whole story was fake, but something much bigger brought him to the raving sensation of the public eye. He reached the peak of his fame in 1845 with his famous poem The Raven that was featured in the New York Evening Mirror. At the same time, Poe was disputing with a fellow poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Poe was accusing him of plagiarism, which with the accusement, there was backlash on Poe. The joy and his newfound fame was short lived as it came with no real change in wealth. He started to fight for the wages of writers to be raised and a copyright law. Worse of all, his wife cousin was dying. She caught the consumption, which is old speak for tuberculosis that everyone got apparently.
There was some gossip going around 1845, the year of The Raven, Poe was rumored to be flirting with another poet, Frances Osgood. Virginia was well aware who Frances Osgood was and she actually liked Osgood. The happy love triangle turned into a quarrelsome quadrilateral. There was another poet, Elizabeth Elliot, who was obsessed with Poe and Poe was like Eww. He literally could do nothing but repeal with scorn. Elliot couldn’t even get into the friend-zone. Elliot was jealous of Osgood and threatened to blackmail her using her flirtatious letters with Poe. Elliot was also sending some letters but getting no response. Poe was like Please, leave me alone and just returned all of her letters to Elliot. Nonetheless, Elliot sent her brother to go get the letters back from Poe, which are letters that she already had. Poe requested some backup from his friends. Considering his history as a flop and a bit of a weirdo, his friends just though that Poe was lying. Then Elliot, the master of spin and home wrecking, said that all of the letters were actually written by Poe.
As ridiculous as the events sound, it put a lot of strain on Virginia Poe while she was sick . It was to a point that as Virginia was on her deathbed, she declared that Elliot had been her murderer. When Virginia died in January 1847, Poe’s life went to a down spiral that never stopped. He later on went to Rhode Island in 1948 to try and flirt with another poet, Sarah Helen Whitman. They were engaged for some time but later broke off the engagement. He did have another triangle between Annie Richmond and Sarah Anna Lewis that helped Poe financially. Poe later on wrote poems about his entanglement for the two woman. In the same year, he published Eureka that was a suppose explanation on the whole universe. Some people found it to be an absolute masterpiece, but others had different opinions of Eureka. September 27, 1849, he left New York to Philadelphia to take up an editing job, but he got safety to Baltimore instead. He reconnected with his childhood love and ex fiancee Elmira Royster. She was a widowed Mrs. Shelton, And spent the rest of his time with her with a few road bumps here and there with his alcoholism.
With all the happy thoughts and happy endings, things got crazy again for Mr. Poe. He was found on a ditch by Joseph W. Walker, a former writer for the Baltimore Sun, was walking to a local tavern to cast his vote. He found Poe in clothes that weren’t his and delirious on October 3rd. Joseph was concerned for the health of the writer, so he asked him if there was anyone that Poe could contact for help. Edgar A. Poe gave him the name of Joseph E. Snodgrass who was a magazine editor and an American Physician. Joseph wrote a letter to Snodgrass for his assistance. The letter said:
Baltimore City, Oct. 3, 1849
There is a gentleman, rather the worse for wear, at Ryan’s 4th ward polls, who goes under the cognomen of Edgar A. Poe, and who appears in great distress, & he says he is acquainted with you, he is in need of immediate assistance.
Yours, in haste,
JOS. W. WALKER
To Dr. J.E. Snodgrass. (Quinn, 638)
He was taken to the Washington College hospital but he never had enough consciousness to explain what had happened to him. He spent his final days suffering with hallucinations. According to Dr. John J. Moran, Mr. Poe would call out the name Reynolds repeatedly on the night before he died. The name still remains a full mystery. On October 7th, 1849, Edgar Allan Poe was pronounced dead. They said that his last words were Lord, help my poor soul.(Meyers, 255) He was buried on the next day of October 8th, 1849 in an unmarked grave that was in the back corner of West Minster Hall and Burying Grounds in Baltimore. His cousin Neilson Poe, purchased a white marble Italian headstone (Quinn) for Edgar, but was later on destroyed after a train derailed and crashed into the monument yard where it was standing. Poe was placed in a cheap coffin that lacked handles, a name plate, cloth lining, and a cushion for his head (Meyers, 256) Not many showed up for his ceremonies since he really didn’t have many friends or relatives anymore. It was a very short burial that only lasted three minutes. The preacher decided not to give a sermon since the crowd was so small. All medical records have been lost, including his death certificate (Bramsback, 1970) Later on, Dr. John J. Moran was proven to not being a reliable source since he would change his story a lot more often than you think.
His death was really mysterious. It was so mysterious that a lot of people speculating and trying to figure out how Edgar Allan Poe died. There are a few theories on what actually caused his death. It ranges from illness to beatings to carbon monoxide poisoning, but one of them is especially interesting. It requires you to know that October 3rd was an Election Day and the ditch that Poe was found in was by a polling station. The 19th century had this form of fraud called cooping, where a victim was kidnapped and forced to vote multiple times under different disguises. These victims were given alcohol or drugs as a reward. This theory explains why Poe was found in new clothes and out of his mind. There was also other theories that he died of rabies which explained why he was so delirious but it just didn’t cover the story well enough. Others said it was a heart attack or the drinking problems that led him to where he was.
1849 saw the end of Edgar and the world didn’t really care much. Even his obituary was really short. It read Edgar Allan Poe is dead. He died in Baltimore on Sunday, September 7. This announcement will startle many but few will be grieved by it. (R.W. Griswold) Poe named R. W. Griswold his literary executor, which means that he owned all of Poe’s work. This has to be up there in terms of terrible decisions which Poe made a lot of. Griswold hated Poe so much. In 1850, Griswold published this memoir of Poe, painting him as this depraved drunkard and immoral womanizer. Griswold did everything in his power to destroy Poe’s reputation. Now Griswold didn’t realized that people love a train wreck. He made Poe so much more interesting than this dude with a tiny mustache who likes birds and isn’t Tesla. It is very possible that those memoirs helped solidify Edgar Allan Poe’s place in literary history to this very day.
His legacy is still alive today, his gothic, dark, and romantic poems are still famous today. No, Edgar Allan Poe wasn’t emo, but poe Edgar went through a lot (see what I did there). He was just a poe boy from a poe family ( I did it again, I need to stop). Some people may not enjoy his poetry since most of Poe’s poetry has a lot of metaphors and isn’t straightforward. That’s the fun of poetry.
Bibliography and references
– Miller, John C. Text: John C. Miller, The Exhumations and Reburials of Edgar and Virginia Poe and Mrs. Clemm,” Poe Studies, December 1974, Vol. VII, No. 2, 7:46-47. Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore – Articles – E. A. P.: A Critical Biography (A. H. Quinn, 1941) (Chapter 01), Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore, Dec. 1974, www.eapoe.org/pstudies/ps1970/p1974204.htm.
– Quinn, Arthur (1988). Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography’ (Paperback ed.) Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
– Bramsback, Birgit. The Final Illness and Death of Edgar Allan Poe: An Attempt at Reassessment. Taylor and Francis Online, Tandfonline, 21 July 2008, www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00393277008587456.
– Poe’s Lost Tombstone. Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore – Articles – E. A. P.: A Critical Biography (A. H. Quinn, 1941) (Chapter 01), 1998, www.eapoe.org/balt/poegravs.htm.
– Text: R. W. Griswold, Death of Edgar A. Poe,” New-York Daily Tribune (New York, NY), Vol. IX, No. 156, October 9, 1849, p. 2, Cols. 3-4. Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore – Articles – E. A. P.: A Critical Biography (A. H. Quinn, 1941) (Chapter 01), www.eapoe.org/papers/misc1827/nyt49100.htm.
– Meyers, Jeffrey (1992). Edgar Allan Poe: His Life And His Legacy (Paperback ed.) New York City: Cooper Square Press
– Geiling, Natasha. The (Still) Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe. Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 7 Oct. 2014, www.smithsonianmag.com/history/still-mysterious-death-edgar-allan-poe-180952936/.
– Giordano, Robert. Biography of Edgar Allan Poe. Poestories, poestories.com/biography.php.
– Mercier, Matthew. You Don’t Know Poe: 10 Weird Things About Edgar Allan Poe. Tor.com, 11 Apr. 2018, www.tor.com/2012/05/02/you-dont-know-poe-10-weird-things-about-edgar-allan-poe/.
– Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, et al. Edgar Allan Poe. Encyclop?¦dia Britannica, Encyclop?¦dia Britannica, Inc., 4 Oct. 2018, www.britannica.com/biography/Edgar-Allan-Poe.
– Poe’s Biography | Edgar Allan Poe Museum, www.poemuseum.org/poes-biography.
– Edgar Allan Poe. Google Search, Google, www.google.com/amp/s/www.biography.com/.amp/people/edgar-allan-poe-9443160.
– Edgar Allan Poe. Poets.org, Academy of American Poets, 23 July 2015, m.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/edgar-allan-poe.