Hi, I’m hoping for some feedback on my practice for 2.3 Unfamiliar Texts and what mark it might get. I used the poem “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe as I haven’t been able to find many resource booklets for this assessment, so I made a question to answer in the style of the official ones.
Sidenote: When differentiating between the author of the text and the author’s narration as the protagonist in the text I’ll refer to the latter as ‘the man’ for simplicity.
Question: Analyse how the writer describes the significance of The Raven.
The Author uses Allusion to describe the importance of the Raven’s wisdom to the narrative. For Example, “Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—” which alludes to the Greek Goddess Athena, whose nickname was ‘Pallas’. The author uses this allusion to imply the wisdom of the Raven by having it perch on the head of wisdom. This emphasises that what the Raven is saying comes from a place of wisdom and is as if the Goddess herself were suggesting it. The reader’s first impression of the Raven makes it seem wise, with godly advice, this helps start it off for the reader to trust the Raven’s words.
Repetition is used by the author to emphasise how the Raven’s advice is wise, yet, final and damning. The repeated phrase, “Nevermore” is said eleven times during the poem. The author places deliberate importance on this phrase to convey how significant the advice from the Raven is. The Raven is telling the man that there is nothing he can do about the situation, Lenore is gone and he can’t do anything about it, thus ‘Nevermore’. The phrase is emphasised by the author through repetition, it stresses the importance that the Raven knows best. The Raven is a bleak and absolute reminder that sometimes life is out of our hands.
The Raven is depicted as wise and alluring through the use of diction. The author writes, “Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling”. The author implies that the Raven is enticing the man to listen to its grim reminder, which emphasises its importance. Diction was used with ‘Beguiling’, meaning to entice or lure, which helps the reader understand that the Raven is trying to get the attention of the man. The reader knows that the information must be important as the raven is acting oddly–unlike their normal behaviour. The author’s use of diction emphasises the wise raven as it knows it has to get the man’s attention and recite his message.
Again, repetition was used by the author to explore the significance of the Raven’s omniscient wisdom. The word, “Prophet” was repeated to impress the importance onto the reader, the Raven’s advice comes from a prophet in the form of a raven, a seer of future events that one cannot comprehend. The author’s use of the raven as a symbol of prophecy is articulated through his use of repetition. The raven can be compared to the Norse God Odin’s Ravens, Huginn and Muninn, who brought him information, the author draws a comparison to this when describing the Raven as a prophet. The author’s use of repetition helps explore the Raven’s all-knowing wisdom and connection to gods.
Thank you for any advice you can give me on how to improve