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Journal Entry At some point in our lives, we all face loss – of someone we love, our favorite pet, or even a cherished dream. But even though the experience of loss is universal, people can choose many different ways to cope with sadness and grief. What do people need to do to face their grief and move on? Think about a time when you experienced a loss. How did you respond? How did you express your feelings? What did you do to adjust to the changes the loss created? Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849) His own life was almost as dark and dismal as the fiction he produced. Edgar Allan Poe: A Troubled Childhood Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1809 Son of poor, travelling actors Shortly after Poe was born, his father deserted the family and a year later, his mother died. Poe was taken in – never formally adopted – by the family of John Allan, a wealthy Virginia merchant. The Allan family provided for Poe’s education; however when John Allan refused to pay Poe’s large gambling debts at the University of Virginia, Poe was forced to leave the school. Edgar Allan Poe: Building a Literary Career Poe joined the army under an assumed name In 1827, Poe published his first volume of poetry, Tamerlane and Other Poems and a year later, published his second volume, Al Aaraaf. In 1830, John Allan helped Poe get into the Military Academy at West Point. However, within a year, Poe was expelled for academic violations. Poe’s expulsion caused irreparable damage to his relationships with his “stepfather” and the Allan family. Edgar Allan Poe: A Literary Career Poe pursued a literary career in cities all over the country, including New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore. He could barely support himself by writing and working as an editor for several magazines. In 1831, he published a third volume of poems, Poems, which failed to bring him any money or acclaim. After little success, he turned to writing fiction and literary criticism. Edgar Allan Poe: A Literary Career Five of Poe’s short stories were published in newspapers in 1832. In 1838, he published his first and only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. Though he gained some recognition from his short stories and his poem, The Raven, he could never escape poverty. Edgar Allan Poe: An Unhappy Ending On October 3, 1849, Poe was found on the streets of Baltimore delirious and in need of immediate medical attention. He was taken to the Washington College Hospital, where he died on Sunday, October 7, 1849. Poe was never coherent long enough to explain how he came to be in this condition, and, oddly, was wearing clothes that were not his own. All medical records, including his death certificate, have been lost. Newspapers at the time reported Poe's death as "congestion of the brain" or "cerebral inflammation“, common terms given for deaths from disreputable causes such as alcoholism. Edgar Allan Poe: A Legacy A long obituary that appeared in the New York Tribune begins: "Edgar Allan Poe is dead. He died in Baltimore the day before yesterday. This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it."[ Some believe he orchestrated this unconventional obituary to keep his name alive. In the years after his death, Poe’s work became a magnet for attention. He is widely known as the inventor of the detective story and father of psychological thrillers which have been imitated by many modern writers. Though some scholars harshly criticize Poe’s writing, his work remains extremely popular among generations of American readers. The Raven This poem tells the story of a man who grieves for his lost love, Lenore. A mysterious talking raven appears at the speaker’s door, prompting him to ask questions about Lenore. The raven has but one response for each question – including the question of whether he will every see Lenore again in the after life – “Nevermore,” leaving the man broken and devoid of hope. page 309 in your textbook When reading the poem… Poet’s use sound devices to create rhythm and musical quality: – Alliteration the repetition initial of consonant sounds – Consonance the repetition of a single consonant sound though the words have a different vowel sound – Assonance the repetition of vowel sounds – Repetition recurrence of rhymes, phrases, words to – Rhyme repetition of similar word sounds (Poe uses Internal Rhyme – rhyming words that fall inside a line) – Onomatopoeia words that sound like their meaning Follow along… Note examples from the poem of the poetic sound devices explained on the previous slide. Complete the chart. Provide at least two examples for each device. Comprehension Describe the poem’s setting. (Where and when does the poem take place? What is the mood of the setting?) What is the speaker in the poem trying to forget? What is the raven’s response to all of the speaker’s questions? What is the speaker’s explanation of the raven’s one response? Literary Analysis Who is the speaker in this poem? What inference can be made about the speaker’s state of mind? What words in the text lead you to this inference? Describe how the raven enters the chamber in the seventh stanza. What is the significance of where the raven is perched? Describe the speaker’s attitude toward the bird in the following stanzas: – Stanza 8 – Stanza 11 – Stanza 13 – Stanza 16 Literary Analysis The raven answers “Nevermore” to six of the speaker’s questions or statements. Paraphrase these six questions or statements (use your own words). Speaker’s question or statement Raven’s Reply Nevermore Nevermore Nevermore Nevermore Nevermore Nevermore What is Poe trying to say? What is the theme of “The Raven”? On a separate sheet of paper… Write a one paragraph response (8 – 10 sentence minimum for those of you still hanging on to elementary school…) to the following: When Poe set out to write this poem, he thought of having a parrot repeat the word “Nevermore.” Would the poem have been as effective if Poe used a parrot instead of a raven? Be specific in your reasons why or why not. Use text evidence. ***Make sure your name and class period are in the top right-hand corner. Make sure your writing is legible and composition is coherent…PROOFREAD before you turn it into your class’ box at the front of the room.
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