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Insanity In The Raven

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“I voluntarily inflicted a certain level of insanity on myself” is a quote by Jonathan Franzen, which I believe is very true in the mental state of people. In the poem, “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator inflicts insanity on himself, however you can just as easily inflict sanity on oneself. Depending on your mental strength and durability you can slowly but surely return to sanity. The talking raven, in this poem, helps the narrator overcome this insanity. It helps the narrator on his journey back to reality and overcoming the constant mental state that he has been facing since the person he loved, Lenore’s, death. The narrator says, “From my books surcease of sorrow – sorrow for the lost Lenore – / For the rare and radiant maiden…show more content…
When the tapping on the narrator’s door occured, he opened the door and said, “Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing. / Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before” (25-26). This is how the narrator describes what he saw and felt when he did open the door to be staring into complete darkness. Was there evil in the darkness, or was the evil all in his head? While the door was open to the narrator he also said, “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” (28-30). I feel this proves that there is a presence of evil lurking and taunting the narrator’s insanity. When the raven does fly in and perch on the statue of Pallas, the greek goddess of wisdom, this seems to show the raven as some type of evil being; which the narrator assumes when he asks, “Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!” (47). The word, Plutonian, is an allusion to the Roman god of the underworld. The assumption of this type of dark, evil is felt with the bird’s presence, especially in the way the raven brings the thought of Lenore, loneliness, evil, and emotion. This type of presence stirs up the narrator 's feelings and therefore drives the narrator to talk about his feelings out loud for the first…show more content…
The last thing the raven represents is sanity. Most readers of this poem feel the raven drove the narrator to insanity, however I have interpreted a different view. The raven represents a role such as a therapist. Holding certain tragic and sad events inside, your thought process and activity is affected. While on the other hand, speaking out loud and acknowledging what happened can help you to move on and come to terms with the event. The narrator sat home and reminisced Lenore and every aspect of her, he felt he couldn 't be happy or live life without her. He allowed himself to slip away towards madness, which is also why he could help himself to travel back to normality. I believe you are only as lost and insane as much as you allow yourself to be, if you strengthen your mental state then you can achieve whatever you set your mind too. The narrator will overcome this and the raven is helping him to do so. After speaking to the raven and getting the same answer over and over, the narrator explains at the end of the poem how the presence of the raven has made him feel, he says, “And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor / Shall be lifted -- nevermore!” (107-108). I interpreted this as the weight has been lifted off his shoulder now that he has heard himself admit Lenore is gone. It almost is a sign of relief because now he can move on with his life and continue on the with a stronger mental state back to his sanity. That journey is very well
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