List a few good critical thinking questions for the poems "The Earthern Goblet" and "Richard Cory."

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huntress | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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"Richard Cory," by Edward Arlington Robinson: 

  • What is the main message of the poem? 
  • Why do you think Cory committed suicide? 
  • How do you think the townspeople relate to Cory? Are they friends? 
  • How do the townspeople feel about Cory? Consider the complexity of human nature. 
  • What does the narrator mean by "we people on the pavement"? 
  • Did he actually glitter when he walked, or does this merely reflect the townspeople's perception of him? 
  • What does "So on we worked, and waited for the light" mean? 

"The Earthen Goblet," by Harindranath Chattopadhyaya: 

  • Is the poem simply about an earthen goblet?
  • A "conceit" is an extended metaphor that invites us to consider a more sophisticated understanding of a poem. If this poem is a conceit, what is the metaphor and what insights does this invite?
  • Can you think of more than one interpretation of the metaphor? Discuss.  

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