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Edgar Allan Poe & “The Raven”
KWL Divide your paper into three sections and label them K – W – L.
Edgar Allan Poe & “The Raven” • Edgar Allan Poe is one of America’s most famous authors, and he is most widely known for “The Raven,” which is one of the most famous poems ever written. • At the time of its publication (1845), “The Raven” made Poe an instant national celebrity.
Edgar Allan Poe • 1809-1849 • Master of poetry, essay, and short story • Born in Boston, Massachusetts, but lived in and worked largely in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York
Early Life • Born in Boston in 1809 and orphaned when his mother died shortly after his birth from tuberculosis. • Taken in by the Allan family, but was largely estranged from them • Dropped out of the University of Virginia • Worked for literary journals and periodicals as a literary critic
Career • was fond of drinking and gambling and lost most of his inheritance; struggled with alcoholism • sought a military career, but was kicked out of West Point; ended up devoting his career to writing literary criticism, essays, poetry, and short stories with varying degrees of success • was a celebrity in literary circles, but struggled financially his entire life
Marriage • ended up working as a tutor for his paternal aunt, and ended up eloping with her daughter (his cousin) when he was 27 and she was 13. • she was afflicted by tuberculosis for most of their marriage and was often bedridden. Shedied at the age of 25.
Death • after his wife's death, Poe began to drink heavily and use other types of drugs • he died mysteriously two years later, found incoherent in the street • the cause of his death is unknown and widely speculated about, with the primary theories being drug overdose or alcohol poisoning, syphilis, epilepsy, meningitis, or rabies.
Influence Poe’s work is quite obviously affected by his life experience His wife was deathly ill for the majority of their relationship; Poe considered the death of a beautiful woman to be “the most poetical topic in the world” His stories are almost all about the death of a young woman, insanity, murder, despair, and grief.
Legacy • widely considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre (with his stories "The Purloined Letter" and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue") • Also credited with the invention of the science fiction genre
Allusion Allusion is a literary device that refers to another literary work to provide a deeper level of meaning. Many allusions reference religious or mythological figures or events. Authors allude to stories, characters, and events that are familiar.
Challenging Language in “The Raven” Pallas – Athena, the Greek god of wisdom Mien – attitude, demeanor Craven – coward Plutonian – related to Pluto, the Greek god of the underworld Seraphim – angels Censer – incense holder Balm in Gilead – allusion to the Bible; a cure for a spiritual wound Aidenn - Eden
Close Reading vs. Reader Response Reader Response focuses on the reader’s experience of the text – what he or she believes its meaning is. In this school of thought, the reader decides what the story means, and all interpretations are valid. Close Reading focuses on what the text actually says by carefully examining passages from the text itself. It demands that all inferences are supported by evidence from the text.
Forms of Analysis Reader Response focuses primarily on opinion and the individual. It is often written from the first person perspective. Close Reading, instead, focuses on the text, and is performed from a point of neutral, objective observance. There is no first person. All examples are supported by text. CSET is argumentative writing, which is analysis that uses close reading skills.
Reviewing CSET Claim – makes a firm statement about the text. Setup – introduces context and develops the argument. Evidence – provides properly attributed evidence from the text. Tie In - ties the evidence from the text into the claim.
Close Reading Close Reading is more practical because it focuses on what the text says rather than just opinion. Essay writing, research, and the real world in general emphasizes claims supported by evidence over just what you think.
Analysis of “The Raven” You are not being asked to write a CSET about “The Raven” right now! Respond to the questions provided using evidence from the text. For some of these you can refer to line numbers, but if it asks for specific words and phrases, write them out. Get used to using evidence from the text to support your claims!