Forboding Atmosphere In Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven

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Edgar Allan Poe creates a foreboding mood in his poem “The Raven” through his vivid descriptions. Additionally, Poe reveals the thoughts and actions of the main character in order to create a foreboding atmosphere. Lastly, Poe uses the raven as a symbol for the protagonist’s mourning for Lenore, revealing thoughts and feelings that are not directly stated by the character.

In “The Raven”, Poe gives uses vivid imagery in order to create a foreboding atmosphere. Firstly, in line thirteen, Poe states “And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain”. This is a prime example of his vivid depictions, and employs alliteration, personification, and onomatopoeia in order to paint a colorful picture of something as simple as a few curtains.
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In the story, the Raven’s only quote is “Nevermore”. The significance of “Nevermore” is that Lenore will never be alive again, hence “Nevermore”. Furthermore, although the Raven’s speech could be interpreted as a jeer at the protagonist (and indeed, he himself seems to interpret it as such) it is actually assisting the protagonist by driving in the harsh reality, and forcing him to acknowledge his loss. This creates a foreboding mood because the Raven is hinting that in order to move on something negative must happen first; he must accept his loss, which will cause him grief, in order to move on.

In his poem “The Raven”, Edgar Allan Poe creates a foreboding atmosphere by using vivid descriptions of the setting. Furthermore, Poe illustrates the protagonist’s reaction to the darkness in order to add to the foreboding mood. Lastly, Poe employs the Raven to symbolize the protagonist’s impending sorrow. The vivid depictions of the setting, the protagonist’s encounter with the darkness, and his interaction with the Raven contribute greatly to the foreboding mood of the
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