Themes of “Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson
Some themes retrieved from “Richard Cory” were: you can’t buy happiness, don’t judge a book by its cover, and money doesn’t solve everything. There are many poems written about death and how people judge one another and Edwin Arlington Robinson’s poem “Richard Cory” is just that. Robinson tries to tell the reader many things in his short four stanza poem. “Richard Cory” is about a wealthy man that chooses to commit suicide and what the people in his everyday life think of him. In the poem Robinson doesn’t imply that Richard Cory has any sort of relationship outside of just saying hello to people as he passes by them. By doing so Robinson may have been trying to say that relationships with people will help more than a relationship with money. For Richard Cory building relationships with people in his town may have been hard because there’s always the chance that they only like his money and not him allowing for Richard to become sad and lonely as time went on. As Richard Cory walked through town people stopped to look at him and noticed that he was well dressed, clean shaven, thin, not particularly talkative. But he was still quite flattering when he would talk. He had a lot of money and was well schooled and made others wish they were in his place. So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
A supporting fact of this would be the absence of relationships in any form through out the poem. With no lover, no family, and no friends, it could be understood as one factor in the decision making of Richard. Richard Cory also appears to keep all of his emotions hidden from the rest of the world through his everyday routine. By keeping his emotions bottled up, he may eventually have popped and decided that he no longer wanted to live. Richard Cory is symbolic of upper society, and the...
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