The Mood in "The Raven"

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  • Mood in ¨The Raven¨
  • Abigail Bunting and Olivia Clarke
  • Thesis
  • Edgar Allen Poe builds a suspenseful mood through his choice of imagery, his character's words, the creepy setting, and figurative language.
  • Imagery
  • "Suddenly there came a tapping, as of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door" "But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token" "Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, in there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore" "To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core" Explaination - Poe's word choice, such as "fiery eyes," gives the reader a perfect image of the raven's piercing glare and multiple other details, including the suspense-building house.
  • Speaker
  • "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted- on this home by horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore- Is there- is there balm in Gilead?- tell me- tell me, I implore!" And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore!” this I whispered "Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked, upstarting- "get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!" Explaination - All of these quotes imply a sense of desperation, urgency, and madness. As the story progresses, the speaker gets more desperate.
  • Setting
  • "Once upon a midnight dreary" "Each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor" "Here I opened wide the door; darkness there, and nothing more" Explaination - All of these quotes give the allusion of a creepy, old house and a chilling silence/emptiness.
  • Figurative Langauge
  • "Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning" "Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before" "Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster, followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore- till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore, of 'Never- nevermore'." Explaination - Figurative language is used throughout the poem to explain the intensity of details and build the suspenseful mood through comparison.
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