The poem that I selected is “Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson. It is about a man, Richard Cory, who is held in high esteem by people in his society. People he meets aspire to be like him since he appears to have a higher financial status than them. However, he eventually commits suicide, which is a revelation that people should not judge others by their appearance. Despite Richard Cory appearing to be successful, he clearly faces some issues that drive him to suicide. The poem is educational and it teaches society that wealth and social status do not necessarily equate to happiness.
What I found most interesting in the poem is how situational irony has been used. This is a situation where an event or outcome is unexpected. Everything in the life of Richard Cory looked good, and everyone envied him, yet at the end of the poem, he committed suicide. The use of situational irony provides a twist to the poem and reinforces the message that the writer sought to pass to the audience. In this specific case, the poet uses irony to prove that wealth does not always create happiness.
I will apply theme as an element to the poem “Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson. The theme of the poem is that appearances can be deceiving. In the poem, everyone thinks that Richard Cory is a successful man judging by his dressing and appearance. Most people he meets look up to him, as they believe that he is the epitome of success. However, he takes his own life at the end of the poem. This shows that people should not judge others by how they dress, talk, or appear. Some people, such as Richard Cory may appear to be doing well in life, yet they have numerous issues and challenges facing them such that they opt to commit suicide. This is a useful lesson that is consistent with modern life where success is judged by how much wealth one has amassed. Some of the wealthy people may be facing more problems in their lives as compared to peasants and the people of a low socio-economic class.
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