Richard Cory

Topics: Poetry, Stanza, Wealth Pages: 3 (874 words) Published: April 6, 2010
“Richard Cory”
Edwin Arlington Robinson
“Money can’t buy happiness” is an old saying that echoes through time; however, it seems to echo so softly that it is quite often ignored. People everywhere in search for their fulfillment see money as a fast train leading to their destination of happiness. The envy and the jealousy of the poor and the needy lie with the rich and powerful. Richard Cory is the envy of the whole town. The townspeople look at him as if he had it all. They see his money, feel his power, know his intelligence and not one time do they ever doubt his happiness. They look at him as more than a mere man, and they desire and long to be looked at in this way. They assume that living like Richard Cory will bring them infinite happiness. The poem seems to indicate that everyone keeps their distance from Mr. Cory. His money does not buy him happiness and it does not bring him friends. Richard Cory led an unbearably lonely life, which is reflected in the very last line of the poem when he commits suicide by shooting himself in the head.

“Richard Cory” is an excellent example of didactic poetry. The whole purpose of this poem is to teach a life lesson. That lesson being that money cannot buy happiness. The poem is an iambic pentameter and consists of four stanzas. Each line contains ten syllables. The rhyming pattern is A, B, A, B.

The first three stanzas of the poem describe the subject, while the fourth stanza shocks the reader. In the first stanza of “Richard Cory” the reader becomes aware of the main thrust of the poem that suggests the differences between the wealthy and the less fortunate. The speaker of the poem belongs to the latter class and the poem clearly draws out distinctions between “us” and “him”. In the second line, "We people on the pavement looked at him:” (I. 2) suggests a lower class stating how they look up to him as well as merely staring at him. In the third and fourth lines the speaker uses the term “gentleman” which...
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