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Analysis of Poe’s The Raven

The first two stanzas of The Raven introduce you to the narrator, and his beloved maiden Lenore. You find him sitting on a “dreary” and dark evening with a book opened in front of him, though he is dozing more than reading. Suddenly, he hears knocking on his door, but only believes it to be a visitor nothing more. He remembers another night, like this one, where he had sought the solace of his library to forget his sorrows of his long lost beloved, and to wait for dawn. Meanwhile the tapping on his door continues.

Poe’s most famous poem begins with an imagery that immediately brings the reader into a dark, cold, and stormy night. Poe does not wish for his readers to stand on the sidelines and watch the goings on, but actually be in the library with the narrator, hearing what he hears and seeing what he sees. Using words and phrases such as “midnight dreary” and “bleak December” Poe sets the mood and tone, by wanting his readers to feel the cold night and to reach for the heat of the “dying embers” of the fireplace. You do not come into this poem thinking daffodils and sunshine, but howling winds and shadows. By using these words, Poe gives you the sense of being isolated and alone. He also contrasts this isolation, symbolized by the storm and the dark chamber, with the richness of the objects in the library. The furnished room also reminds him of the beauty of his lost Lenore. Also, Poe uses a rhythm in his beginning stanza, using “tapping”, followed by “rapping, rapping at my door”, and ending with “tapping at my chamber door.” You can almost hear the tapping on the door of the library as …

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…e opens the door. When he found himself opening the door, he saw nothing but darkness. And this is the point where he figures that there is nothing out there. I think the reason Poe was so afraid, reflects back on Lenore. I understood Lenore to be Poe’s love at some point in his life. He’s been so depressed, that all he thinks about is her, but then again, he is also trying to forget about her at the same time. And when he first heard the sounds of rustling, he might of thought it could be the spirit of Lenore. I think this was the reason for him to have been so afraid. Poe drew a lot of his ideas and images into his own imagination. And the images he had of Lenore, was not making him feel any better. I think that most of Poe’s thoughts and feelings all came from his mind, and not his heart.

Racial Issues in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Racial Issues in Huckleberry Finn

An issue of central importance to Huckleberry Finn is the issue of race. The story takes place in a time of slavery, when blacks were considered inferior to whites, sometimes to the point of being considered less than fully human. But Huckleberry Finn challenges the traditional notions of the time, through its narrator and main character, Huckleberry Finn. While in the beginning, Huck is as unaware of the incorrectness of society’s attitudes as the rest of society is, he undergoes many experiences which help him to form his own perspective of racial issues. Through the adventures and misadventures of Huck Finn and the slave Jim, Twain challenges the traditional societal views of race and encourages people to form their own views of what is wrong and what is right.

Huck begins in the novel as a character who sees things as they really are. Huck acknowledges that some of the stories about him and Tom Sawyer are exaggerated. About Tom Sawyer, Huck says that “That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth” (Twain 4). Huck, however, can be trusted a little more. Huck has no reason to exaggerate the tale he will tell. Tom Sawyer had his A-rabs and elephants. “I reckoned he believed in the A-rabs and the elephants, but as for me I think different” (Twain 14). Huck therefore tells things in his story just as they happened. He has no need for the exaggeration. Huck Finn therefore is a reasonably reliable narrator; he sees the truth as it is, and likewise he tells it as it is.

Huck Finn fakes his own death and then runs away from home. The immediate cause is to escape from his father. The underlying…

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…iety might resent him for it. It feels right to him, and he will do it. This action goes contrary to the social norms. A white was never expected to care about a black, much less to help one escape. But Huck did just that. Huck has opened his mind to the view that slavery is wrong; he has taken a big step in this direction. In this manner, Huck Finn attacks the social norm of slavery in specific, and racism in general.

The representations of race and the challenges to social norms of racism make up an important part of the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Huck himself undergoes a change; he stops accepting the social norms and instead follows his own beliefs. He acquires these beliefs after many adventures with the slave Jim. In this way, Twain encourages people to be like Huck and not to accept the racism just because society accepts it.

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