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The Raven Essay | Critical Essay #3

This Study Guide consists of approximately 42 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Raven.
This section contains 1,635 words
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Critical Essay #3

In the following excerpt, Smith credits the popularity of what he terms a bad poem to its universal message concerning the alienation of the individual in American society.

"The Raven," unequivocally the most famous of Poe's small body of poetry, may be among our most famous bad poems. Americans are fond of saying we do not read and do not care for poetry. It may be so. Yet Americans commonly recognize Poe's bird as subject of a poem by a weird guy who drank himself to death. Written and published in 1845, in print steadily for 148 years, the stanzas of "The Raven" are sonic flashcards. We may not know Whitman, Dickinson, Frost, or Eliot. But we do know Poe. We know 'The Raven."

A poem that might have been designed by Benjamin Franklin, "The Raven" purports to be explained by Poe's "Philosophy of Composition." Poe wrote his essay for...

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This section contains 1,635 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Raven Study Guide
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The Raven from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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