What aspect of human life does "The Raven" represent?symbol

Expert Answers
clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think the poem represents grief and the inability of humans to truly let go of a lost love.  The speaker isn't haunted by a bird, he's haunted by the longing for his lost love, Lenoire.  The raven is an embodiment of that longing.  This is why in the last stanza

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

the raven is still there.  If it were a real bird - haunting the speaker - eventually it would die.  Instead, the longing he feels will probably haunt him until he dies.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To me, this poem represents the way that we human beings are our own worst enemies.  We worry so much that we end up making ourselves depressed when there is not necessarily any reason to do so.

If you look at this poem, there's really nothing that's so scary about the raven.  It just sits there and says "nevermore."  All of the sadness in the poem is provided by the speaker.  He is the one who makes up the questions.  If he asked something like "when am I going to be sad" and the raven said "nevermore" it would be a lot different, right?

So, to me, the poem is showing how we depress ourselves -- how our own minds make us unhappy even though we would not need to be that way.