Edgar Allan Poe’s, “The Raven,”
Respond to Edgar Allan Poe’s, “The Raven,” by answering the following writing prompt in an argumentative essay
Prompt: For this essay, you will craft a 3-paragraph response that answers the following question: Is the Raven in Edgar Allan’s Poe’s, “The Raven,” real or imaginary? Use evidence from the poem and your own thinking to support your answer. This essay should explore how the different elements of the poem (setting, mood, imagery, symbolism) and the speaker’s word choice all contribute to the existence or nonexistence of the poem.
The Raven: An Argumentative Essay
As a renowned poet in the 19th Century, Edgar Allan Poe, is an acclaimed poet who managed to infuse imagery into his poems. None is more vivid of his use of imagery than “The Raven,”; a poem Poe wrote in 1845. In The Raven, Poe paints a grim picture following a man seated alone on an old velvet chair in a dark room covered with purple silk curtains mourning over the loss of his love, Lenore. The man hears a knocking on the window that keeps increasing with each knock. Frustrated, the man opens the window, letting in the raven that perches on a side in the room, and he goes on to have a conversation with it. This furthers my argument on the poem. I believe that the raven is not real, rather, a figment of his imagination. Firstly, the raven cannot be real because no raven in the history of the world has ever talked. Secondly, because of the man’s loss of his love, Lenore, his mind is delusional; hence, he believes that he is taking to the raven. Lastly, furthering his delusion, the man hears a “knocking” by the window than the door, making the raven impossible to be real, rather imaginary.
Firstly, the raven is a point of imagination from the man’s mind because no raven in history has ever talked. Quoting the poem, “…deep in the darkness peering… an echo murmured back the word ‘Lenore’” shows that the man’s imagination and his loss leads him to exude a character to converse with to help calm him. Loss can make one delusional to the point that a person can bring innate objects to life and grant them human characteristics like the raven talking.
Secondly, the raven is not real as it cannot knock. For a knock to happen, one has to cringe their hands and use their knuckles to perform the act of knocking. Also, the man’s delusional mind gets him to think of a knocking on a window rather than on a door as it should be. This proves that the raven is not real, rather imaginary. Thirdly, the man lets in the raven instead of chasing it away. This act shows that the man’s delusion has come over him to believe that the raven is real rather than imaginary. The man furthers this when he sits down and talks to the raven as if he would be having a conversation with someone else, where he inquires from the raven, “…tell me what thy lordly name is on the nights plutonium’s shore! Quoth the raven “Nevermore!” The man’s delusion has him conversing with a bird with no ability to mimic or respond; therefore, the raven is not real.
Conclusively, Poe presents a common understanding of how individual’s process loss in the poem to the extent of giving innate objects humanly characteristics. Poe’s symbolism of using a raven as an extension of the man’s imagination shows the grief in the man. Therefore, the raven is not real, rather a figment of the man’s imagination. Taking this into account, the raven as a symbol of human fears depicts that no matter how far we run away from them, an individual’s memories in time of grief remain their constant companion.masterstroke in dealing with the mental health issues that surround us all.
Edgar Allan Poe, 1845; The Raven