What Does The Raven Symbolize
What are the symbolic significances of the raven in Poe's Poem? What does the Raven stand for?
The raven initially symbolizes what Poe describes as "mournful, never-ending remembrance." The narrator's sorrow over his lost love Lenore provides the impetus for his unusual conversation with the dark, strange bird. But the raven provides no comfort for the narrator, a broken man still nursing a broken heart.
It's noteworthy that the raven is perched on top of a statue of Pallas Athena, the goddess of wisdom. This gives its constant refrain of "Nevermore!" a significance that it would otherwise lack. Through the raven's unconscious expression of wisdom, the narrator realizes that Lenore has...
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Some of the reasons that Poe chose this bird instead of a parrot is because it has a melancholy tone, it picks carcasses, it is a sign of ill-omen, and it is black. Black is a reminder of sorrow, darkness, evil, death, lack of insight, and mourning. These are all disturbing attributes of this bird and these show that a raven is not something you would want at your door in the middle of the night. When Poe first started writing this poem, he knew he had to have a bird that could talk, yet was non-sentient, non-thinking, and non-reasoning. So he had the choice of a parrot or a raven. As you can tell from above, the raven is more fitting for his intention.