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I need help with a good thesis. I am writing on Symbolism in "The Raven" 

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dsurpris1008 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 11, 2011 at 12:00 PM via web

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I need help with a good thesis. I am writing on Symbolism in "The Raven" 

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted November 12, 2011 at 2:05 AM (Answer #1)

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This poem, while admittedly sprinkled with figures of speech (synecdoche, litotes, personification, etc.) does not really get its strength from a series of linguistic tricks. (Of course, the central metaphor comparing the Raven to “death” or the sorrow of having lost someone is there, but does not make a strong thesis subject.) Better would be to concentrate on “how Poe structurally builds the reader’s tensions by rhythmically increasing the narrator’s plea to  ‘leave my loneliness unbroken’”.  Look at how Poe constructs the basis of the depression (or melancholy, as it was called), as the raven settles into the scene, and how the raven’s departure would be the final “desertion” the only thing the narrator has left is his melancholy.

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purprar | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 24, 2012 at 6:27 PM (Answer #2)

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1.the door and window symbolises gateways or portals to another world, a world where the speaker crosses the boundary of reality and enters the world of the supernatural

2.the raven is a symbol of death and ill omen plunging the speaker into despair and self loathing.

3.bust of pallas is the statue of athena or goddess of wisdom.The raven perched over the statue symbolises how death overpowers wisdom. the speaker indulges in self torture by asking the raven questions that intensifies his grief over the loss of lenore and sends him to the verge of insanity. He loses all sense of rationality.

4.chamber also meant funeral parlours of victorian times hence can be associated with death, the speakers chamber is adorned with  traditional colours of bereavement like violet purple ebony  black grey etc.

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