Edgar Allan Poe: Reflection of His Pessimistic Moods in His Work
Throughout literature, an author's works almost always reflect their mood and character. Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer whose short stories and poems reflected his pessimistic moods. One of Poe's poems, "The Raven," is about a raven that flies into the home of a sad and lonely man. This poem best expresses Poe's sense of despair and gloominess because the literary elements used in the poem are a constant reference to them. An example that portrays "The Raven" as a reflection of Poe's despair and gloominess is the poem's setting. The poem takes place in a haunted house during a violent storm. For example, in the poem it says, "On this home by horror haunted," and "..tempest tossed thee here ashore." The time and place of the poem deliver a feeling of negativity and pessimism to the reader. Poe's use of a depressing and negative setting for "The Raven" illustrates his despair and gloominess. Another example that illustrates the poem as an expression of Poe's mood is the raven itself. A raven is a large bird of the crow family with lustrous black feathers and a straight, sharp beak. Poe could have used any bird, however he wanted the reader to experience the gloom and despondency that he experienced. Therefore he wrote about a raven. Finally, Poe's use of assonance throughout the poem also contributed to the poem's illustration of despair and gloominess. Assonance is the repetition of vowel sound. For instance, at the end of each stanza it says, "Quoth the raven, Nevermore," "This is it and nothing more," or a phrase ending with the word more. The repetition of these sounds emphasize the words that contribute to the mood of the poem. Nevermore is a negative word meaning never again. The raven only said this word. Poe emphasizes nevermore because it helps accentuate the depressed and despaired mood of the poem. "The Raven" best reflects Edgar Allan Poe's sense of despair and gloominess because the literary elements of the poem constantly refer to his sadness and gloom. The setting , a major character, and Poe's use of assonance, assist in portraying his pessimistic moods. They each deliver negative feelings to the reader, emphasize the mood of the poem, and illustrate Poe's feelings of despair and sadness. Therefore "The Raven" best expresses Poe's mood.