Richard Cory: the Man Who Was

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Elliott Brown
Essay #1
Richard Cory: The Man Who Was
"Richard Cory" describes how one man is not as perfect as his townspeople think. They believe that he is better than everyone else. However, the man in the poem, Richard Cory, kills himself. Throughout the poem, the author, Edwin Arlington Robinson, provides insight into the chilling end of the poem where Cory puts "a bullet through his head" (16), conveys how you cannot judge a book by its cover, and explains how Richard Cory fell victim to the pressures of society.

Edwin Arlington Robinson sneaks in key words to give insight to Cory killing himself. Robinson states that, "he was always quietly arrayed" (5) which means that he is impressive in a discreet manner. He is not one to brag or boast but for some reason, he is obviously not as impressive as people think. Also, Robinson says that he is "human when he talked" (6). This must mean that he does not talk often and when he does, it is something to pay attention to. The wisest words are those of the light-spoken The people of the town think that Cory is more than a person. They think that he is some sort of town icon. Robinson foreshadows Richard Cory's death by using diction that makes Cory look like he is too perfect. People link money with richness and become envious of those who have more. However, in Cory’s case, he is the rich person with emotional and psychological problems.

Secondly, throughout the poem, Richard Cory is referred to in past tense. This indicates that he has already passed which foreshadows the impending doom waiting at the end of the poem. Robinson says that people wished that they were Richard Cory. The speaker of the poem must be someone that did not know Cory personally, but was one of the many townspeople that were surprised when he shot himself. The poem is written in such a manner that makes things look like they were too good to be true. Nothing bad was said about Richard Cory. People only...
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