Insanity In The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe

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In many stories, insanity serves as a deciding factor in the outcome of the story. Though this was common in many of the works during the Romantic period, few authors were able to illustrate insanity like Edgar Allan Poe. Insanity appears to be a recurring theme in many of Poe's works, especially the poem "The Raven" and the short story "The Black Cat." In "The Raven" Poe conveys the power the loss of a loved one can have on someone's sanity. For instance, as the narrator yearns for Lenore, his lost love, he hears a knocking on his door. At first he assumes this to be a visitor; however, he opens the door to find no one. This causes a bit of panic in the narrator as he returns to his room, saying, "Back into my chamber turning, all my soul within me burning" (31). Through this, the reader begins to see how the narrator magnifies simple occurances, and turns them into something much larger and more serious than they are. Later on, a raven flies into his home and, peculiarly, the narrator's first instinct is to speak to it. He asks the raven questions regarding Lenore and whether or not he will ever be with her again, to which the raven …show more content…

For example, after the narrator gouges his cat's eye out, the cat becomes petrified of him. As a result the narrator ". . .slipped a noose about its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree" (Poe 9). The narrator's reasoning for this was his incessant drinking and short temperament, although that is hardly an excuse. Later on in the story, the narrator finds another cat, who he also attempts to kill for no good reason. However, his wife stops him from doing so, which angers the narrator even more. Because of this, he decides to murder her. The narrator feels no remorse for this or any other of his unspeakable acts, which adds to the reader's perception of him as

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