What is the point of view in "The Raven" by Poe and how does it relate to the general theme?  

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mperez-mugg21 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe is written in first person point of view.  This emphasizes the personal experiences of the narrator and brings the reader closer to the intimate details of the narrator's mental state.  This is especially important in "The Raven" because the poem centers around the mental instability of the narrator and details his nervous state as propelled by the events in the poem.  The poem works in stages to demonstrate the anxiety that the narrator feels as he searches for the source of the knocking at his door; first he examines his door for visitors, next he looks to the window for the source of the noise, and finally he finds the source of the noise to be an eerie raven who perches above his door.  Poe emphasizes the narrator's experience of seeing the bird and questioning it about its' presence in his home. In this final section of the poem it is evident that the bird represents the narrator's own madness and melancholy due to the loss of his love Lenore.  Without the use of the first person perspective the reader might never come to understand the anxiety and madness faced by the narrator, losing sight of the major meaning behind the poem altogether.  It is evident throughout the poem that Poe means for us to see that the loss of a loved one can forever trap us in a state of utter sadness, so burdensome that we may never escape our madness.  This is primarily evidenced by the final lines of the poem where the narrator finds himself trapped into madness by the shadow of the raven, unable to escape his state of sadness and resume a normal life.  

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As stated before, the point of view is first person and the protagonist is expressing his sorrow while slipping into what the reader understands to be some sort of madness.

The Raven is the representation of the nostalgia that the protagonist insists on keeping, and the Raven's stay in the home is a declaration from the protagonist that he has elected not to move on to a brighter self. He much rather would remain in pain, and hence he will stay that way.

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The Raven

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