The article that was discussed in this paper is entitled “Edwin Arlington Robinson and it was written by William J.Scheick (Scheick 2). To be more precise, the discussions below dwell on the poem, Richard Cory found within the article. Through the poem, in the article, it is argued that no amount of wealth could bring happiness in individuals lives.
In numerous poems, individuals created over the years persons talked about issues to do with appearances and death more often than not (Scheick 2). However, in Edwin Arlingtons poem, Richard Cory, the author talks about a myriad of issues. The poem talks about an affluent person who takes his own life and all that the people in his surrounding thought about his drastic act of committing suicide. From the events in the poem, it could be deduced that the poet was trying to portray the actuality that outward appearances always deceived and that there was more to individuals than meets the eye. In line with the proclamations above, the occurrences in the poem above are a clear indication to the fact that money would not always bring about happiness in the middle of persons.
In the entire poem, the poet failed to provide readers with clues regarding the relationships Richard Cory had in going about his daily life activities. Throughout the poem, the poet does not mention anything to do with Richard Corys family, lovers or friends that were part of his life. By not mentioning any loved ones or friends as part of Robinsons life, the poet intended to communicate to persons that companionship was a very essential element of individuals lives (Scheick 2). Richard Cory tried his very best tohide the truth that he was in dire need of relationships as part of his life. As outlined in the poem it is without any doubt that even though money may be essential in individuals lives and at times help in making individuals happy the truth was that individuals would slowly grow tired of the wealth they possessed thus see little value in their wealth. When individuals grew used to certain things over time, they were bound to become less interested in the items they were used to with time.Such items would matter less and less. It is precisely for the aforementioned reasons and more that the less privileged members of the society should never measure their levels of happiness based on the amount of wealth they possessed. There is more entailed in ascertaining to individuals personal happiness than individuals possession of riches. Some of the elements that would enable individuals to pursue healthy and happy lives so be looked into and maintained for the wellbeing of individuals in their areas of residence.
Based on how the poet conveyed his message, it was clear that he desired to tell his readers that besides Richard dying a wealthy man he also died a lonely and sad individual. Richard dying a lonely and sad person was supported by the truth that he did not have any viable relationship as shown in the poem. Having friends, family or lover is a sure explanation to his radical act of committing suicide (Scheick3). If Richard were to have had a relationship of some kind then perhaps he would have not easily committed suicide. This is because the important people who become part of individuals lives would always act as some sort of drive that would direct people to do the right thing all the time. Richards act of keeping his emotions hidden from the rest of the world could have been one of the reasons behind his decision to take his own life other than the fact that he did not any person to share with his troubles.
Richard Cory has been incorporated in the poem as a representation of the upper class members of the society the towns people on the other hand have been integrated within the poem as a representation of the middle class members of the society (Scheick3). What the poet strived to exhibit through his poem was the practicality that all persons should be content with the little they had and that persons should never long for the wealth possessed by other persons within their surroundings. Just like in the case of Richard, individuals could never deny the point that no amount of wealth could ever buy individuals happiness or companionship they desired as part of their lives.
This poem may have been relayed in a simple manner; however, the poem would leave readers wondering about some of the factors that may have compelled Richard to commit suicide (Scheick4). This is because the poem hardly touches on the factors that resulted to Richard committing suicide instead the poet dwelt more on the mystery behind the suicide act. Richard instantaneous death as a result of him committing suicide came as a huge surprise in the middle of the people who admired him for his wealth. Individuals hardly expected Richard to terminate his life given such great wealth and influence in his society. To most of the people in Richards surrounding, Richard had all the things individuals desired to continue with their lives or things worth living for in life. Most of the people in Richards society struggled with each day that went by to make ends meet or put food on the table for their own sake and for the sake of their families.
Concerning the language that was used in portraying the information that the poet intended to pass across, it could be said that the language that was used was rich. Although the poet did not use similes, metaphors, symbolism and not much of poetic devices, he was still able to attain resonance in the words used despite the fact that the poem is quite literal.From the line Whenever Richard Cory went down, the poet sets up some degree of contrast that runs throughout the poem (Scheick 2). If in any case Richard Cory went down town as asserted in the poem then that would simply mean that there was a time that Richard was up down.Up down in this case was used to mean the wealthy residential neighborhoods whilst down town stood for the business district apartments where the working class members of the society and apartment dwellers resided.
The main idea behind the creation of this poem was to bring out the differences that subsisted between the wealthy individuals in the society and the less affluent members in the society. This was such that while Richard Cory belonged to the upper class part of the society, other individuals in his surroundings lived from hand to mouth. The less privileged members of the society were those who were referred to as the people who were watching from the pavement, ie We people on the pavement. By stating that they looked up to Richard, the poet meant that these individuals longed to attain the same status as Richard despite their odds (Scheick 2).
The poem illustrates the irony in the lifestyle embraced by a wealthy person in which case, Richard Cory. Cory was born and brought up in a wealthy family with his father owning almost half of the region they resided. Such wealth and fortune made individuals long to become like him. The narrator in the poem seems to be one of the employees in Richard Corys factory. The speaker talks about Richards wealth and possession in an exaggerated and absurd manner. This was to show how highly the people in Richards surroundings considered him (Scheick5). The poem portrays irony in the truth that while rich people were unhappy even with the insurmountable wealth they possessed the poor perceived the riches possessed by wealthy individuals in the society as some source of happiness. The character Richard Cory is a representation of the irony in the lives pursued by the natives of the United States in modern day societies. While majority of the less privileged persons in the United States admired the wealthy lifestyles enjoyed by the rich persons in their surroundings, the troubles faced by affluent persons despite their wealth made them lead unhappy lifestyles full of depression and grief. For instance, a good number of wealthy families in America experienced domestic strife in going about their daily life activities. This was due to incidents such as men within such families showing minimal interest in their families and spending little time with their families on the pretext that they were working late or off to some distant conference. In such situations, these mens women thought that their husbands were having affairs with the women they encountered in the places they supposedly went to or spent most of their time at the expense of spending more time with their families.
Nonetheless, it is beyond any reasonable doubt the speaker in the poem belonged to the lower class segment of the society. Whenever Richard Cory went down to the city, the speaker and his friends would watch him from a distant. The speaker was jealous of the luxurious lifestyle Richard lived to the extent that he so wished to be in the same position of wealth and prosperity as Cory (Scheick6). Though the working class individuals in the society worked hard with each passing moment all they could afford was bread even with it being that these individuals consistently wished they could afford the meat the affluent members of their society enjoyed.
The term gentleman as used in the poem creates an increased gap between the two groups of people described in the poem. Based on the assertions in the poem, a gentleman belonged to the higher socio-economic class unlike those who were simply referred to as men. The poet states that Richard displayed his gentle nature from sole to crown to show that Cory pursued a luxurious lifestyle in his are of residence. The word crown was used to refer to the top of the head of Richard while sole was used to refer to his shoes. Crown is used figuratively to point out the kingly lifestyle Richard enjoyed in his society.
Scheick, William J. “Edwin Arlington Robinson.” MagillS Survey Of American Literature, Revised Edition (2006): 1-5.Literary Reference Center. Web. 11 Sept. 2016.