In "Richard Cory", how did the townspeople respond to Richard Cory?

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engtchr5 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

People looked at Richard Cory with a mixture of respect and envy: He "jingled" when he walked, and was full of grace and refinement. Because of these facts, people were sometimes jealous of his riches or his lavish lifestyle, but at the same time, the "commoners" of the town admired him for his amassed wealth and style.

The irony in all this is that, at the poem's end, we learn that Cory's lifestyle and wealth led to him taking his own life. The author is pointing out the folly of people's thinking regarding wealth and riches.