Richard Imagery: Summary, By Edwin Arlington Robinson

971 Words4 Pages
According to Mental Health America, 1 in 5 adults suffer from a mental illness. That’s more than 40 million Americans who live with a disorder every day, oftentimes invisible to other people. “Richard Cory” is a poem by author Edwin Arlington Robinson that touches on the idea of hiding mental illness and problems behind a MASK. The work goes hand in hand with William Golding’s Lord Of the Flies, which also touches on different points on the map of huMAN flaws and how a viel permits them to come into fruition. While Golding uses MASKs both physically and symbolically in order to illustrate the concept of instinct SAVAGEry in MAN, Robinson relates the use of MASKs by society to conceal their flaws. “Richard Cory” and Lord Of the Flies utilize…show more content…
Many people become a whole different person when they are in a social situation, whether it be as someone who is extroverted with others being introverted on their own or someone who is shy around others being confident on their own. Oftentimes, the rationale for this behavior is to shield mental illnesses or disorders from the judgmental eye of other people; this is the case for Richard Cory. The serene, utopic tone of the is filled with misleading phrases that build up towards the poem’s abrupt final line. The collective narrator describes the MAN from their perspective, as a MAN who is “clean favored, and imperially slim” (Robinson 4) and “glittered when he walked” (Robinson 8). This deceives the reader into thinking that everything in the life of Richard Cory is perfect. This same mistake is made in real life, oftentimes for people suffering from mental illness. They see him this way because of the MASK he wears: as a “gentleMAN from sole to crown” (Robinson 3). Their misconception leads to a probable shock after unearthing the events portrayed in the poem’s closing line when it is stated that he “went home and put a bullet through his head” (Robinson 16). The juxtaposition of the calm summer setting of the previous line also contributes to the climax’s impact. This commentary on the nature of huMAN relationships and the importance of huMAN connection that the author provides contrasts with Golding’s use of MASKs in Lord Of the Flies. Both authors use MASKs to express the idea that huMANity is flawed and covers up their flaws by living as someone completely different than ourselves. The way “Richard Cory” and Lord Of the Flies differ in their use of MASKs is the makeup of MAN that the works are touching upon. “Richard Cory” talks about the emotionally flawed part of MAN that is hidden from others, whereas Lord Of
Open Document