Edgar Allen Poe's :The Raven"

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What is the main idea of "The Raven?"

-- Anonymous, September 07, 2003


For Poe's take on it read his essay "The Philosophy of Composition" at www.eapoe.org. Though somewhat tongue in cheek he probably is stating his theme honestly. "An everlasting and mournful remembrance" is a special emphasis since in the context of the highest theme(for Poe) being the death of a beautiful young woman the focus is on the plight of the bereaved. As in "Annabel Lee". Whatever solace or inspiration he tries to elicit from the bird symbol he himself knows he is foredoomed. In a mad display of self-defeat he manages to talk himself into despair yet not free himself from his obsession- all his worst fears realized. The interjection of the "supernatural" between his two selves(hope/doubt) is a brilliant piece of psychological horror that surpasses your typical gothic tale and its heavy handed use of supernatural tricks.

-- Anonymous, September 08, 2003

The answer previous to mine was very well stated, however, I feel one important part is missing. At the end of The Raven, you get the sense that Poe is finally accepting the death of Lenore. He may not be over it, but you get the sense that his obsession with her death, which is clearly stated in Lenore, is no longer.

-- Anonymous, September 06, 2004

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