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The narrator's source of meaning in life in "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe

Summary:

In "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator's source of meaning in life is his deep, undying love for Annabel Lee. Despite her death, he continues to cherish their love, believing it transcends mortality, and finds solace and purpose in the memory of their bond.

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In "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe, what made life meaningful to the narrator?

In Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “Annabel Lee,” there is only one thing the narrator finds worth living for – his Annabel Lee. Annabel herself was a maiden who lived only to love and be loved by the narrator, and his besotted language would suggest that his approach to life was the same – he refers to their love as one to stir even the angels to jealousy.

The setting of the poem also shows that Annabel Lee is the narrator’s main focus in life; whether she is alive or dead, he remains with her on the sea. Regardless of any kind of hope or hopelessness, it is just he and his Annabel Lee, as if there are no other people on the earth. His very soul is part of hers – nothing can “ever dissever” his soul from Annabel Lee’s (stanza 5).

Finally, the narrator calls his long lost maiden his “life” in the final stanza. What the narrator finds worth living for is his very life – his darling Annabel Lee.

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What gave life meaning to the narrator in "Annabel Lee"?

In the poem "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe, the speaker of the story is deeply in love with his wife, Annabel Lee, who has tragically died. He describes their love as "more than a love" and explains the following:

[She] lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

The narrator explains that the angels in heaven so envied the love they shared that they sent a wind "chilling and killing my Annabel Lee." After her death, Annabel Lee is placed in a sepulcher, a monument built of stone, by the sea. The narrator describes how he stays connected to her, now that she is gone, by visiting her every night.

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

From the description of their love as "stronger by far than the love of those who were older than we," the reader can gather that the narrator and Annabel Lee were young and in love in a way that people rarely are as they age. Their love is eternal, because Annabel Lee dies before they are able to grow up and out of love.

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