Solving the problem of evil in the twenty-first century

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

In Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven” a lonely man is stuck miserably in his home thinking about his loss lover Lenore. As his struggle continues a knock is made on his chamber door. The tapping continues and the man goes over to open it. As the man opens the door seeking to find out what is going on there is not anything there but the darkness of the night. In confusion the man whispers Lenore his loss love in hope her angel is trying to interact with him, but he has no luck and closes his door. After going back to his misery for a small time the man hears a knock on his window, and as he opens the window the Raven appears. The Raven in this poem plays a evil image that seems to drive the man even more mad as he continues to ask him questions and the Raven is only able to reply with the word “Neversome”. Reading this poem gave me the idea that the Raven is playing a evil messenger or even the Devil himself. The man asks the Raven questions about his loss lover Lenore, but all he is given back is the word “Neversome”. Finally the man realizes that continuing the conversation would be pointless. “And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting on the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming.” This part of the poem explains what the Raven does after the man quits his dialogue. The man stares at the evil looking Raven. This stance that the Raven keep himself in starts to drive the man insane and all hope is lost as the Raven plays a direct symbol of “Death” the death of Lenore. “And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor shall be lifted—nevermore!” This is the final line of the poem and it explains to us that the man’s hope for lifting his soul from the tragedy is forever lost within his mind.


4 responses

  1. Molly Allender

    It seems as though the raven represents a form of evil that uses man’s weaknesses against him, in this case the man’s loneness and grief over his lost lover. It is also an individualized evil like in The Screwtape Letters.

    May 5, 2011 at 5:05 pm

  2. nickmehendale

    I think that the Raven in this poem is nothing more than a simple Raven. Where the it takes on more meaning is that the man is driving himself insane and projecting that onto the Raven. In a way, the man is his own symbol of death and sadness.

    May 7, 2011 at 12:14 am

  3. Akshata

    I can see how the Raven can be represented as an evil form, almost like a devil. Although the man is lonely and grief-stricken in the beginning, the raven plays upon the man’s emotions, just like the one in the Screwtape Letters. By intensifying the man’s inner suffering, the raven embodies an evil form.

    May 13, 2011 at 3:35 pm

  4. deesdetfc


    The raven is indeed a form of demonic or insane activity on the mind of the man. Animals are able to be possessed, and in the Screwtape Letters this would be a perfect example of a devil using a raven to play on the man’s mental instability and push him into whatever caveat he is headed to.

    May 14, 2011 at 11:23 pm

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