In “Richard Cory,” the speaker describes the people’s reaction to and admiration of Cory. He is obviously of the upper class, being a “gentleman from sole to crown.” He “flutters hearts” when he speaks, so he is physically attractive. He is wealthy, “richer than a king.” He has social grace and manners. He is obviously above the “common” people, who have to struggle for their daily bread. He appears to have everything one’s heart could wish.
Evidently, however, all that is not enough, for one night he goes home and “puts a bullet in his head.” His suicide is in stark contrast with his seemingly charmed life. Happiness was eluding him. The speaker does not mention any one person, a friend or family member, with whom Cory can find comfort, only his reputation among the people he encounters.
The speaker's perspective makes it clear that suicide is not necessarily caused by outwardly hard times. There are many things that can be seen as lacking in one’s life. Though to all outward appearances a person may seem to “have it all,” this does not guarantee him a life of true happiness internally. Each person one meets may be fighting an inner battle that he is constantly losing, and that is tearing him apart.