The Nature Of The Raven In Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven

1378 Words6 Pages
“The Raven”, by Edgar Allan Poe has several component parts that give it life and allow the reader to recognize it as a classic. Poe’s writings are known for invoking feelings described as spookish, morbid, and ghastly through his Gothic style literature, and “The Raven” was no exception. After reading through the poem several times I believe the Raven represents the main character's struggle to understand why the raven came to his home, the symbolic nature of the bird itself, and the discovery the Narrator found within himself from the raven.
The poem starts off telling us about a lonely, mourning man who, upon hearing a persistent tapping noise outside his home, opened his window to find a raven. When the bird flew through his window,
…show more content…
It was a symbol of a fresh and hopeful start. The Raven in Poe’s poem is the complete opposite of that dove. His bird represents mourning, disparity, loneliness and death. When we first see the narrator in the poem, he is trying to get lost in a “...quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore”(Line 2), hoping to forget his “...sorrow for the lost Lenore”. The raven was described as from the Night's Plutonian Shore, which refers to the Kingdom of Pluto, the god of the Underworld. The Plutonian Shore represents the edge between Life and Death. When asked if Lenore’s soul would ever be reunited with his, he finds out that he will be doomed to never see her again. The loneliness is eternal, and by the end, we know that his soul will never be lifted from the oppressive shadow of grief. The fact that the raven is standing on the bust of Pallas Athena, the greek god of wisdom and logic, represents the conquering of sane thought. “This bird not only symbolizes a sense of darkness and evil, but also a bad omen. This is important to the poem because it helps to develop the melancholy tone that stresses how lonely the narrator is. The raven is also a strong symbol because it stands for non-reasoning. It would make little sense to use a human in this position, because a human can reason to answer questions, unlike the bird.…show more content…
The raven’s journey from the hellish Plutonian Shore is a reflection of the Narrator's own struggle to get through the passing of Lenore. The narrator has lost his one true love, Lenore, that much is evident. We do not know much about her, but the memory of her passing has deeply affected him. There was no hope for him, and he would do anything to take his mind off his loneliness. His time spent in reading at night describes denial toward his loss, trying to pretend it didn't happen by losing himself in “...quaint and curious volume[s] of forgotten lore”(Line 2). When he goes downstairs to check if someone is at the door, he tries to rationalize that it is just some random person knocking at the door, but when he opens it to find no one is there, his first reaction is to say “Lenore”( Line 28). He was, and still is until the raven shows up, hopeful that it was all a bad dream, and that Lenore would just show up on his doorstep, unharmed and still breathing Then, when the raven shows up, it receives a respite from it’s long journey from the Underworld consequently, the arrival of the Raven gives the Narrator temporary rest from his loneliness. “It is noteworthy that the raven is perched on top of a statue of Pallas Athena, the goddess of wisdom. This gives its constant refrain of "Nevermore!" a significance that it would otherwise lack. Through the raven's unconscious expression
Open Document