Edgar Allan Poe's Element of Symbolism

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven, Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe Pages: 2 (563 words) Published: December 7, 2005
Poe's Element of Symbolism
Though Edgar Allan Poe's works all carry their own unique individualism, one of the few things they have in common is symbolism. Symbolism is when a person, place, thing, or event that stands for something else. The symbolism of each of his works carries a certain uniqueness that sets him apart from other writers in his, previous, and future generations to come.

In one of his famous works, The Oval Portrait (176-179), Poe uses a symbolic message in the end of this tragic tale, or as you could say—a moral of the story. This story actually told another story in itself. When the narrator and his servant broke into an old abandoned apartment, the narrator discovered a portrait of a beautiful young girl. And through this portrait, another story began to unravel itself. Their once was a painter who had two wives: a lovely young girl for a bride and his artwork. Both of them rivaled for attention from him, but the painter continued to focus on his artwork more then his bride. And as he finished the last stroke of this haunted painting that sucked the life out of his wife, he screamed that this was life itself—turning around only a moment later to find his wife dead in the chair beside him. If he had only stopped to think of her, even for a moment, he may have been able to save her life. There are two symbolic meanings of this story. The first meaning that you should never neglect the ones you love, because you never know when they may be gone. And the second one is that you should be loyal to one partner, even if it means giving up something else you also love. Otherwise he should never have married her to begin with. Another story that uses symbolism is The Raven (181-186). The Raven is a story about a lonely man, the narrator, whose missing his deceased wife, Lenore. He begins to enter a stage of mental and emotional insanity and instability. He finds a raven perched atop his chamber door as we go deeper into this story, who talks to...

Bibliography: Poe, Edgar Allan. The Oval Portrait. Adventures in American Literature. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. 1996. 176-179.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Raven. Adventures in American Literature. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. 1996. 181-186.
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