What is the message of the poem "Richard Cory?"

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One is that wealth and power have their attraction to the crowd but tend to alienate the individual. Ask any high profile celebrity, and he or she will tell you it is not that easy to protect one's private life (including maintaining meaningful relationships within a small circle of family and friends) when in the limelight.

Another is that things (or people) are often very different from the way they appear. In this case, a man whom everyone admired, emulated, or was even envious of was not "the success story" he was cracked up to be. Under all the glitter and hype, he was a very frustrated person who couldn't cope with the stress his image and lifestyle demanded of him. The reason he opted for suicide is not stated, but the reader could presume his "success" might have had something to do with it.

Related to the two first messages or themes is another question - what, after all, is really important in life? Complying to society's ideals of perfection and being gratified by that or seeking and finding personal fulfilment by one's own standards instead?

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