Richard Cory

Topics: Working class, Meaning of life, Social class Pages: 3 (896 words) Published: June 4, 2014
"Richard Cory" describes how one man is not as perfect as his townspeople think. The poem “Richard Cory” was written in 1897 by Edwin Arlington Robinson. It is about a gentleman by the name of Richard Cory; a man everybody admired. 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, yet Richard Cory “puts a bullet through his head”. In 1966 the musicians Simon and Garfunkel wrote the song “Richard Cory” which is based on the poem “Richard Cory”. In the song, the narrator works in a factory owned by Richard Cory. The narrator wants to be Richard Cory despite the fact that his “idol” kills himself. The meaning of the poem and the song is pretty clear, although the poem and the song are slightly different. The narrator of the poem seems to be blindly admiring Richard Cory than the narrator of the song, who seems to be expressing more envy and anger towards him.

The poem “Richard Cory” demonstrates quite clearly that money cannot buy happiness. The speaker describes Richard Cory as “a gentleman from sole to crown, clean favored, and imperially slim”. This description exemplifies Cory’s appearance and gives an idea of aristocratic quality and royalty. “And he was rich - yes, richer than a king – and admirably schooled in every grace” gives an impression that Cory was not only a wealthy man, but he also was intelligent with discreet manners. He would please everyone's heart with a simple "Good Morning." The line “we thought that he was everything” indicates that the working class as well as the narrator think this royal man has everything one may desire. Then the narrator soon explains that on "one calm summer night" he kills himself by putting a gun to his head. It is clear that life is not all about material things. There some things in life that money cannot buy such as happiness, love, and friendship. All people in the town wished to be in Cory’s place....
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