In the last line of the poem, what is the very violent final image, and how many different senses can you detect in that image?

Expert Answers
Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To answer this question concerning "Richard Cory" you need only to read the poem, including the final line, of course, then figure out what senses are conveyed by the image in that final line.  There's only one image in the final line. 

In this text, imagery is the language used to convey the visual picture to the reader.  The final two lines read:

And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,

Went home and put a bullet through his head.

The image is of Richard Cory shooting himself in the head.  You simply have to figure out which senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell) are communicated when you read the image.  The image is a literal (as opposed to figurative, like a metaphor) image that conveys at least three of the senses.  The obvious one is visual, or sight.  The reader sees the man shoot himself.  What other senses might a reader associate with a gun shot to the head?  Think of an actual gun shot--what senses would be used by somebody who watches the gun shot and by the person who is shot?  In other words, what would the bystander experience, other than just seeing the gunshot, and what would the person being shot experience? 

With those suggestions, I'll let you figure out those last two.