It Shall Be Lifter Nevermore!

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            Poe supplies a lot of evidence that the narrator had experienced a great loss of love due to death: "whom the angels name Lenore-Nameless here for evermore.", "She shall press, oh, nevermore!", "memories of Lenore", "Lost Lenore" , and so on. Even if Poe did not spell this out for the reader, his amazing and strong images of loneliness would lead many readers to this conclusion.  Many passages screamed loneliness. 

            Once Poe created the image of the narrator extremely well, he brought the raven in to the picture, the only other named character (besides late Lenore).  The narrator refers to everyone else in the world as mere "visitors" and "nothing more".  Poe brightens his image of loneliness when he allows such a dark, "grave", "stern", and "lonely" raven to send the narrator's "sad fancy into smiling" (2).  All the beauties this world has to offer had no chance of such success.  At first I thought the bird could bring hope to the narrator's life.  I thought Poe, by creating such parallels in the description of the bird and the narrator , would use this to somehow alleviate some of the loneliness.  But as the poem progressed I was not so sure of this anymore.  At first the narrator asks the bird if he can "forget this lost Lenore!" (3). The bird replies "nevermore".  Not being able to forget someone taken out of this context isn't always negative, but when the narrator begins to plead to "clasp" Lenore or keep her, the raven replies "nevermore".  When one is unable to forget a person who is unable to be kept, pain and panic set in.  The only aspect left to hold onto is the pain, which is reinforced when the narrator states "Leave my loneliness unbroken!" (4). He does not want anyone or anything jeopardizing the one connection with this late love, even if it is the single culprit causing his downfall.  Poe does not have the bird fly away, but he does not do this to un-break the narrator's loneliness, which would have a slightly lighter/happier meaning.  I believe it represents something much darker.  Everyone and everything seemed to leave, according to the narrator, but the first time he is proven wrong and something refuses to leave, it ends up representing his trapped soul.  Just like the raven, it "shall be lifted-nevermore!"  Now I know I took everyone reading this on a journey called my interpretation of plot summary, but I wanted to get some of my reactions down on this blog and maybe receive some feedback. 

3 Comments

I honestly don't think I would have ever considered the Raven a symbol of his trapped soul. That made me re-read the poem actually, because I wonder if there is more evidence for this...
You might be able to go so far as to suggest that the Raven is Lenore, in fact haunting the dear narrator, thus why it will not speak it's name?

Meagan Gemperlein said:

I know in another blog somewhere I read that the narrator keeps getting closer to the bird and talking to the bird even though he seems almost frightened of the whole situation. Maybe he does think it's Lenore and that's why he's drawn to the bird and doesn't back off quickly?

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