In the raven poe is talking to who : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I have studing the raven and I would like to know this:

Poe in this poem is telling a story about his experience with the raven, but to who is telling the story, he's talking to who????.

Please if you can help me I'lll apreciate.

-- Anonymous, August 05, 2002



There is no easy answer to this question, but it is an interesting one nonetheless. What you are asking about is the 'implied reader'. That is, not the real reader (you, me) but the imaginary person being addressed by the poem. In 'Annabel Lee', for example, the implied reader is mentioned in the opening verse ("a maiden there lived whom *you* may know") but there is no similar reference in 'The Raven'.

One thing to note, though, is that it is not Poe's experiences with a raven but the narrator's, who is an imaginary person.

But because the poem does not explicitly address the reader, it is more difficult to recreate the sort of person to whom the narrator is speaking. One approach may be to read some of Poe's tales which have readers of dark, depressing material to see how he imagines such characters. 'Fall of the House of Usher' would probably be a good starting point since Usher and the narrator both consume large quantities of dark books in that.

Good luck!

-- Anonymous, August 06, 2002

"Eddie" gave you the essential points answering to your question. The narrator, created by Poe (not Poe, please!), is holding some melancholy molologue, speaking/talking thus to himself, about his lost Lenore and a strange event he experienced (real or imaginary?) so deeply as to feel it permanently, even in the present. The bird (real or imaginary?) is, in any way, still haunting him so intensely as to darken his poor and gloomy soul... but probably his reason too! Pallas (=Minerva, the goddess Reason) has become dominated, in the proper sense of the term . "Invita Minerva", i. e. "without the assistance of the reason, the good sense" seems the probable actual neverending state of mind of this ill-fortunated mourning character, cruelly too well aware of his tortured mental condition. All the lines and verses are, you surely observed it, organised as to suggest some "masochism" within this persona's suffering mind. And to complete your information, don't forget to read Poe's own (though somewhat consciously "histrionic") explanation he unfolded in his "Philosophy of Composition" ( very easy to find, even on the web). Yours sincerely, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, August 06, 2002

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