Examine the presence of  "humanity" in "Richard Cory."

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The "humanity" in Robinson's poem exists in how accessible and yet inaccessible Richard Cory was.  Even though he spoke in a manner that was "always human," Cory was never fully understood by the people around him.  It is here where the humanity in the poem is evident.  The idea of modern identity construction as one in which one thinks they understand reality only to be surprised by it is where humanity is evident.  Robinson's construction of Cory is one in which the modern dream of wealth acquisition is realized.  Yet, along with it is a stunning isolation with a depth and profundity that is not necessarily understood by others.  This is where Cory lies and to a great extent where the modern individual exists.  In a striving for economic happiness, personal alienation from others seems to be evident in such a configuration.  The humanity is present here in how the individual consciousness strives for one element only to find another one present that was not originally conceived and understood.  It is here where Cory lives and leaves consciousness, with nothing but questions and wonderment as a result.  The humanity present lies here in that consciousness proves to be elusive, something towards which individuals cannot claim to have a full and compelling answer.  In this, I think that Robinson seeks to bring humanity into his portrait of Cory and the reason why there is much humanity in the poem.