The Gift Of The Magi And The Raven Analysis

909 Words4 Pages
William Shakespeare, one of the most famous and influential playwrights of all time, once asserted that “powerful love … in some respects, makes a beast a man, [and] in some other, a man a beast.” In making this statement, Shakespeare suggests that love is a powerful force that has the ability to both strengthen and ruin people. O. Henry’s heartwarming short story “The Gift of the Magi,” which describes how a poor couple’s attempts to afford meaningful gifts reinforces their relationship, and Edgar Allan Poe’s grim poem “The Raven,” which illustrates a mourning lover’s descent to madness, demonstrate the contrasting effects love can have on people. While “The Gift of the Magi” conveys a positive theme about the importance of love and how it…show more content…
On a “midnight dreary,” the persona reads in an attempt to forget the passing of “ the rare and radiant maiden … Lenore,” when he hears a knock at his door. Although the sound startles him, filling him with “fantastic terrors,” he eventually builds up the courage to answer the door, only to find nothing but darkness outside. As the persona stares “deep into … [the] darkness,” he starts “wondering, fearing, / [d]oubting, [and] dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream” before whispering the name of his lost love, Lenore. Many of the words the speaker uses have negative connotations, which contribute to a dark, foreboding mood. For example, “darkness” implies mystery, obscurity and the presence of evil, while “fearing” and “[d]oubting” suggest insecurity and a lack of confidence. The persona eventually returns inside, but he soon hears more tapping. Determined to discover where the sound is coming from, the speaker opens the shutters and inadvertently lets in a raven. Fascinated by its “stately” appearance, he starts a conversation with the “ebony bird,” and is shocked to discover the raven can speak. Although the raven only says “[n]evermore,” the speaker continues talking to it, asking it if he’ll ever see his beloved Lenore again in the afterlife. When the raven again replies “[n]evermore,” the persona begins to despair, calling the bird a “thing of evil” and ordering it to leave. However, the raven instead remains above the “chamber door,” where the “lamp-light … [casts] his shadow on the floor,” from which the persona’s “soul … [s]hall be lifted–nevermore!” The speaker’s bizarre encounter with the raven portrays him as mentally and emotionally unstable. Without his beloved Lenore, he is constantly on edge and cannot think rationally. He senselessly starts a conversation
Open Document