The Deceptive Life of
“Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson
When we see people we want to be like, we never stop to think if they are happy with their life, or if they have ever contemplated about their death. In “Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson, he shows us that what we see or think of other people can be wrong. Robinson uses imagery to put a picture in our heads. When the speaker says “He was a gentleman from sole to crown, Clean favored, and imperially slim.” Robinson is describing how Richard is royally slender, and possibly tall, proud in how he is dressed, also that he had respect for others. “Whenever Richard Cory went downtown, We people on the pavement looked at him.” Here Robinson makes us see that Richard is “above” the pavement, while all the other people just look up at him. “So on we worked, and waited for the light.” Here the people continued to work their lives, while Richard went about his life, and to wait for their chance in life to like Richard. Robinson’s use of diction sometimes makes us wonder why he chose those words. “And he was always quietly arrayed.” All Robinson says here is that Richard is always well dressed but never flashy about it. “But still he fluttered pulses when he said ‘Good-morning.’” Richard here, just by saying “Good-morning” women, and possibly men, felt their heart skip at beat, so to say. “…and he glittered when he walked.” Glittered here doesn’t mean that sparkled when he walked, but seemed to have a spring in his step, a step of joy the people would say. In this poem Robinson uses of all three ironies: verbal, situational, and dramatic. The title of this poem “’Rich’ard Cory” can and does suggest that wealth plays a great part in this poem. ”…richer than a king.” Suggests that Richard either comes from a family of great wealth and power but in America there is no such a thing as monarchy. “And he was always human when he talked.” Here the speaker suggests that you don’t necessarily have to be...
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