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What is the conflict in "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe?

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souljagurl012 | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted October 25, 2007 at 9:47 AM via web

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What is the conflict in "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe?

Tagged with conflict, literature, the raven

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cmcqueeney | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted October 25, 2007 at 10:37 AM (Answer #1)

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The major conflict is within the narrator's mind.  He is so distraught by the loss of his love that it leads him to the brink of insanity.  He appears throughout the poem to be fighting with the raven, but in actuality, he is struggling within himself.  The raven's coincidental response just pushes him over the edge.

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brendawm | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted October 26, 2007 at 12:40 PM (Answer #2)

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The main conflict in "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe is internal.  The conflict exists in the mind of the speaker as he faces the Raven and is driven by his grief to hear it speak his worst and most dreaded fears that he will "Nevermore" see his beloved Lenore.  Therefore, I believe it is pretty safe to say that the main conflict in the poem is internal.

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arpbas | Teacher | eNoter

Posted July 10, 2011 at 2:41 AM (Answer #5)

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the primary conflict within the theme lies in the intermingling of the raven's virtual reflection of the poet's real situation.the raven can easily be identified with the poet's ultimate realisation of the futility of human expectations over fate and destiny and how humn beings are nothing but puppets in the hands of the unseen alpervading truth.

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 5, 2012 at 8:05 PM (Answer #11)

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The conflict in Poe's poem is an internal one, as has been previously noted. Poe states the nature of this inner conflict early in the poem. He has been trying to achieve "surcease of sorrow for the lost Lenore" by burying himself in old books and trying to forget about her. But the Raven seems to him to be a messenger from the spirit world who has been sent there to keep reminding him of his loss. Instead of trying to forget about Lenore, he is forced to think about her more poignantly than he had been thinking before. So he imagines that her ghost has come back to visit him. He asks the Raven if there is "balm in Gilead," which is equivalent to asking if what the Bible has to say about immortality and resurrection has any truth and can offer him any comfort. But in the end he is defeated in his attempts to deal with his loss. This is symbolized by the Raven taking up a permanent station on the bust of Pallas and continuing to croak the single word "Nevermore." It seems as if the "rare and radiant" maiden the speaker loved so deeply has been replaced by a pet bird who is no comfort to him at all but a continual source of pain.

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atticus-finch | Student | Salutatorian

Posted March 20, 2013 at 3:58 PM (Answer #12)

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The main conflict in "The Raven" is mostly the main character dealing with hisself and insanity.

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted July 8, 2008 at 11:30 PM (Answer #3)

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Like many of Poe's works, we find a character at odds with his own mind. Internal struggle is a classic theme in Poe works. The loss of Lenore is oppressing him psychologically, and the Raven's incessant cawing pushes the character into a crazed state.

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jhalaksingh24 | Student , Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 18, 2011 at 6:06 AM (Answer #6)

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the conflict in the poem, the raven, is that the speaker is very lonely and is dwelling on his grief over his lost love , Lenore and when the raven shows up over his chamber door, he becomes more nervous and frustrated

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mamahmood96 | eNoter

Posted November 1, 2011 at 6:52 PM (Answer #7)

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The major conflict is within the narrator's mind.  He is so distraught by the loss of his love that it leads him to the brink of insanity.  He appears throughout the poem to be fighting with the raven, but in actuality, he is struggling within himself.  The raven's coincidental response just pushes him over the edge.

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worcester | College Teacher | Honors

Posted November 10, 2011 at 11:33 PM (Answer #8)

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Quite obviously there is a conflict between the narrator and the Raven, the narrator believing the bird is an evil prophet. The other is a conflict with self, where the narrator is losing his sanity and reason and grieving for his lost love.

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anveshanushka | Student , Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted February 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM (Answer #9)

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the link

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