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Unravel the mysteries of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” with our in-depth answer key! Dive into insightful analyses of central themes, symbolism, and literary devices. Masterfully crafted solutions for each CommonLit assessment question equip you for academic success.
Explore captivating discussions on grief, love, and the afterlife, fueled by the poem’s haunting verses.
|Which of the following best describes the relationship between the speaker and Lenore?
|The Raven Common Lit Answers
|PART A: Which of the following best describes a central theme of the text?
|Loss and grief can have powerful effects on the mind.
|PART B: Which TWO of the following quotes best support the answer to Part A?
|“Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had sought to borrow / From my books surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the lost Lenore — ” ( Lines 9-10)
“And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming, / And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; / And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor / Shall be lifted — nevermore!” ( Lines 105-108)
|How do the allusions, or references, made to Pallas (Athena) and Pluto (Hades) inform the character of the raven?
|These allusions make the raven seem otherworldly and informs his symbolic nature as a possible messenger from the afterlife.
|Why does the speaker react poorly to the raven’s response of “Nevermore” in stanzas 15-16?
|In these stanzas, the speaker asks the raven if there is an afterlife and if he will be reunited with Lenore there, to which the raven answers “Nevermore”; the speaker takes these answers seriously and thus becomes upset.
|Which TWO of the following quotes best embody how the imagery develops the supernatural atmosphere of the poem?
|“Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer / Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.” ( Lines 79-80)
“And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting / On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; / And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming, / And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor ( Lines 103-106).
|How does the overall use of repetition in the poem contribute to its mood?
|The poem’s use of repetition — namely the tapping, the narrator’s calls for Lenore, and the raven’s catchphrase of “Nevermore” — contributes to the overall suspenseful, eerie mood.
|How does the poem’s use of internal rhyme contribute to
the tone of the piece? Cite at least one example in your
|Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” masterfully employs internal rhyme to enhance the poem’s tone, which is dark, mysterious, and melancholic. Internal rhyme occurs within a single line or across multiple lines and contributes to the poem’s rhythmic and musical quality.
A notable example of internal rhyme in “The Raven” is found in the opening lines:
“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore —”
Here, the words “dreary” and “weary” rhyme internally within the first line, while “lore” at the end of the second line echoes back to these sounds. This internal rhyming creates a sense of harmony and flow, reinforcing the poem’s eerie and haunting atmosphere. It also mirrors the protagonist’s spiraling thoughts, as the rhyme scheme seems to loop back on itself, much like the narrator’s obsessive ruminations.
The internal rhyme contributes significantly to the overall tone of the poem. It creates a musical cadence that contrasts with the poem’s dark themes, underscoring the sense of impending doom and the narrator’s growing despair.
The rhyme serves to draw the reader deeper into the poem’s hypnotic rhythm, mirroring the protagonist’s descent into madness. This use of internal rhyme is a testament to Poe’s skill as a poet, using sound and structure to amplify the emotional impact of his words.
Read Also: A Rose For Emily CommonLit Answers
How do we deal with grief? Find evidence from “The Raven,” from your experience, and from other works of literature or art.
Answer: Dealing with grief is a complex process that varies from person to person, and it’s a theme that’s been explored in various forms of literature and art, including “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe. Let’s break down how grief is dealt with in different contexts:
- “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe: In this poem, the narrator deals with grief through isolation and obsession. Mourning the loss of Lenore, he becomes fixated on the raven’s repetitive utterance of “Nevermore.” This fixation symbolizes how grief can consume one’s thoughts, leading to a cycle of despair and hopelessness. The raven, a symbol of death and the supernatural, may represent the inescapability of grief and the finality of death.
- Personal Experiences: Grief in real life often involves a range of emotions, including sadness, anger, denial, and acceptance. People may find solace through various means such as talking to loved ones, seeking professional counseling, engaging in creative outlets, or finding comfort in memories. The grieving process is personal and nonlinear, with individuals moving through different stages at their own pace.
- Other Works of Literature and Art:
- William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”: Hamlet grieves his father’s death deeply, which leads him on a quest for revenge. His grief manifests in profound existential questioning, illustrating how loss can lead to a deep reevaluation of life and purpose.
- Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking”: This memoir candidly explores the author’s experiences of grief after losing her husband. Didion writes about the shock and denial in the immediate aftermath of death, providing insight into the often disorienting nature of grief.
- Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Never Let Me Go”: This novel explores loss and grief in a more subdued and resigned manner, reflecting on the inevitability of death and the importance of cherishing life’s moments.
- Vincent van Gogh’s Art: Van Gogh’s paintings, like “Starry Night,” often reflect emotional intensity and turmoil. Though not always directly about grief, his works convey deep emotional experiences that can resonate with those who are grieving.
- Cultural and Societal Influences: Different cultures have unique ways of handling grief. Some may have rituals and ceremonies to honor the deceased and provide community support, while others may encourage more private mourning practices.
In the context of this poem, how are we changed by love? Cite evidence from “The Raven,” from your experience, and from other works of literature or art.
The theme of being changed by love is a poignant aspect of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” and it’s a motif explored in various forms of literature and art. Let’s examine this theme from different perspectives:
- “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe: In this poem, the narrator’s encounter with the raven reflects how love and loss have irrevocably changed him. His lament for the “lost Lenore” suggests a deep, abiding love that continues even after her death. The poem doesn’t detail their relationship, but the intensity of his grief implies a profound connection. The narrator’s descent into despair can be interpreted as a reflection on how the loss of a loved one can lead to a sense of perpetual mourning and a feeling of being haunted by their memory.
- Personal Experiences: Love can change individuals in countless ways, often leading to personal growth, increased empathy, and a deeper understanding of one’s own emotions. Conversely, the loss of love can result in profound grief, a reevaluation of self and purpose, and, in some cases, a sense of identity loss. This dichotomy showcases the powerful impact love has on human emotions and behavior.
- Other Works of Literature and Art:
- William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”: This classic play shows how love can lead to drastic changes in behavior and even destiny. The intense love between Romeo and Juliet defies their families’ feud, ultimately leading to tragic consequences.
- Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”: This novel explores how love can lead to personal growth and overcoming prejudices. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, through their love, learn to challenge their initial judgments and grow as individuals.
- Pablo Picasso’s Art: Picasso’s artwork, particularly during his Rose and Blue periods, often reflects the emotions associated with love, from joy and connection to sadness and solitude.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”: Gatsby’s love for Daisy is a central theme, showing how love can lead to obsession and a desire to recreate the past, ultimately leading to Gatsby’s downfall.
- Cultural and Societal Influences: Different cultures have varying perspectives on how love changes an individual. In some cultures, love and relationships are seen as transformative experiences that are central to a person’s identity, while in others, love may be viewed as a part of life’s journey but not necessarily a defining aspect.
In summary, love has the power to deeply change individuals, as seen in “The Raven” and various other works of literature and art. These changes can be positive, leading to growth and fulfillment, or they can be negative, leading to grief and despair.
The way love changes an individual often reflects their personal experiences, cultural background, and the nature of their relationship with the loved one.