Homework Help

In "The Raven," why does Poe use a raven instead of another bird or animal?

user profile pic

fot | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted April 6, 2009 at 2:13 AM via web

dislike 2 like

In "The Raven," why does Poe use a raven instead of another bird or animal?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 6, 2009 at 3:22 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like

Being that it is a gothic poem, you get all the element of the supernatural combined together to create a dark atmosphere.

As stated in a similar question, the Raven symbolizes "Mournful and Never-Ending remembrance" (according to Silverman quoting Poe)- The characteristics of this bird are that it is black, and can repeat words. The Raven has also a notorious reputation for being a bird of bad omens.

The fact hat the bird has a limited capacity for repetition compared to , say, a parrot, enables the idea of it choosing to repeat the ONE word that follows the protagonist to insanity and despair.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes