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