What is the meaning of the poem "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe?


The Raven

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malibrarian's profile pic

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A good place on eNotes to check for a literary work's meaning is under themes (I included a link below).  "The Raven" is the story of a very lonely person who receives a visitor in the form of a bird.  He begins asking the raven questions, who is only capable of giving one answer - "Nevermore."  The speaker of the poem begins to put entirely too much stock in what the bird is saying, going on to ask it more and more important, soul-searching questions, but the bird can only say, "Nevermore."  The person becomes more and more frantic, spiraling into madness because he thinks the bird is telling him a true answer to all of his questions, when really, it's just a bird.

The eNotes link mentions three separate themes to this poem - alienation and loneliness, death, and the supernatural.  The death of the "lost Lenore" and the speaker's grief over her loss is extremely powerful and important to this poem.  When the raven tells him that he will never see her again ("Nevermore") it sends him into further depths of grief over her loss.

Be sure to check the link below for more information.  Good luck!


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