What aspects of human life does the raven represent in "The Raven"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Raven represents many things. First, it represents despair as it is a Gothic-based creature whose black color, its mythology as a bird of omen, and the fact that it showed up in the darkest and last month of the year represent long and lasting pain. Second, it represents the battle of reality versus letting go of such pain. The fact that the author allows it in, and permits it to linger there, means that he, himself, prefers to live in nostalgia and pain. Finally, it represents the passing of life, its flying and staying means a life that has been restrained by fear, and allowed to remain in the same state "for evermore". Hence, the Raven represents the weaknesses and pains of life as it moves on, and how some of us refuse to let it just happen.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team