It's Your Density... I mean, Destiny

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Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" is such an interesting work!  I have always loved this piece, mostly because I adore the interest in birds - I love learning what birds can mean in different cultures.  After reading Foster I thought it was interesting to note that the time of this occurrence is around midnight.  It is the month of December, and it is dreary (1).  Foster discusses how setting plays a big part of the story, one section in particular is that on seasons. This is where he suggests that winter signifies "old age and resentment and death" (178).
Why would Poe choose this setting for "The Raven?"  This dreary setting sets up the reader for an ominous situation, which ties in perfectly to the enigma of the raven and it's phrase.

Surprisingly, using wikipedia brought up some interesting details on the name Lenore, as well as why Poe might have written this piece.  I also looked into the importance of the raven on culture and learned that the raven can at times be too smart.  Perhaps Poe was never asking the raven the proper questions, or the raven knows that no matter what the question, the answer is inevitable.  

2 Comments

Jennifer Prex said:

I agree that the setting definitely sets the mood well. I also think that maybe it also ties in with the narrator's grief over the lost Lenore--who died, apparently. Since death seems to be weighing on the narrator through his grief, it only seems fitting that it should take place in the winter.

Meagan Gemperlein said:

I think the setting also fits into the creepiness that Poe is trying to set up in the poem. The makes the bird seems almost scary and unknown. If the poem was set on a summer night...not so creepy.

I always thought that raven was the bird of choice mainly because it's the only bird, or animal actually, that I can think of that fits into this setting. I mean, they are kind of scary looking. And aren't they black?

So there could be some meaning behind that choice of setting and bird, but at face value they just fit perfecting into this horror-type poem.

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