An Anaylsis of Edgar Allan Poe "A Dream"

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November 28, 2011
English 310_01
Dr. Pass
A Dream Analysis

“A Dream” , a piece of gothic fiction, written by Edgar Allan Poe as young man around 1827, was first published in Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems in 1829. It was later reprinted in The Raven and Other Poems. As a writer, Poe thought that this poem along with the others he had written were not worth reading: “I think nothing in this volume of much value to the public, or very creditable to myself.” (qtd. in Poe 1845, preface) In “A Dream”, Poe uses a dream as an escape mechanism for the narrator. It is his way of allowing the narrator a chance to escape from the harsh realties of life into a dream –like reality of how he truly wants life to be. In the first stanza of the poem, the narrator is explaining his dream to the reader. It starts out by telling the reader that in the mist of the darkness surrounding him, he had a dream that brought much joy to his heart, it was full of life and light and then he awoke to only discover that it was truly a dream that left him broken hearted and this was a very devastating thing for him to grasp.

The second stanza posses the question what is a dream? He wants to know is life by day a dream of the past or is it a reality of the future. I’m thinking that the narrator had a horrible life in the past, just as Poe, and his life is now a reflection of his past and that he wishes it was all a bad dream and that it would go away in the morning just like his wonderful dream he had that night did when he awoke in the morning.

In the third stanza he refers to his dream as “That holy dream—that holy dream”. It was a shield of protection from a world that was continuously scolding his thoughts, and actions. “It cheered me as a lovely beam/ A lonely spirit guiding” (Online Literature.com). It was like a beautiful light had shone upon his lonely life and guided him to happiness.

In the finally stanza, the narrator wanted to know how did this wonderful...
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