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
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.