What Does The Afterlife Symbolize In The Raven

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“While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door” (Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven, 1845.) “The Raven” is Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous poem, revolving around an unnamed narrator’s descent into madness as he realizes he will never forget his true love, Lenore. As the narrator begins to nod off one evening, he hears a knock at the door and ignores it until eventually, he hears it again. He opens his window to see a raven perched on the bust of Pallas, the goddess of wisdom. As he confusedly begins speaking to the bird, and as the conversation progresses, he feels disconnected from reality. Because of his disconnect, readers have rumored that the story is no more than a dream. …show more content…

Dreams about the afterlife most commonly represent the next step in life. In “The Raven,” The narrator's next phase is to leave Lenore behind. What stops the narrator from forgetting Lenore is his worry about whether or not there is an afterlife, or reunion waiting for him and Lenore. Throughout the poem, he displays hope that Lenore will return to him, somehow, “Lenore?” This I whispered,” when the narrator opened the door, he expected to find Lenore coming back to him. Despite Lenore’s death, the narrator still hoped for his wife to return. He finally explodes screaming at the raven, “By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore— Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore— (Poe, The Raven, 1845) Still relying on the raven for prophecy, he asks the raven if he should ever see Lenore again, to which the raven replies, “Nevermore.” The narrator’s dream only confirms that he will never see Lenore again as long as he is alive. The narrator's dream serves to confirm that he will never see Lenore again in his life. Acceptance of an issue is the initial move toward resolution, but the story falls into chaos as he realizes there is no fixing his situation. Finding difficulty in accepting that he will never hold Lenore again, and that the life he had once cherished would not be coming back. His dream ends on a grim note as the raven sits still on the bust of Pallas, and it’s shadow is cast over the narrator, showing even though he accepted the emotions in, he does not wish to live with them. The raven’s shadow reminds the narrator that he will never be freed from the feeling of despair, and that he may never move on from

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