The narrators in Edwin Arlington Robinson’s poem, “Richard Cory“, are a few people who are standing near Cory as he walks down the street. They are going about their business when Richard Cory walks within visual range and is immediately discussed by the narrators. The town in which the story takes place in is essentially small. This sort of scenario would never take place in a larger city simply because there would be several people like Richard Cory, not just one. The people describe Cory as a very important man who is above anything petty, nearly regal. They find Cory to be everything they are not, and everything they desire to be. Richard Cory is a marvelous man who seems to be too good to be true.
The first two lines of the poem suggest Richard Cory’s separation from the ordinary folk who are telling the story. Richard Cory’s presence on the street demands attention as soon as he is noticed. Just by looking at him, a person can tell that he is above everything else around him. The people describe themselves as just “people on the pavement” (591) as though Richard Cory is using some other means of transportation other than walking. Cory “glittered when he walked” (591) which looked to them as if he wasn’t walking at all, just merely gliding to his destination while they view themselves as trudging up and down the same pavement on the way to their meaningless jobs.
The next two lines tell what it is in his natural appearance that sets him off from everyone else around him. Cory is described as “quietly arrayed, always human” (591) which really makes him different from most people because he is a simple man who only speaks with meaning. A large majority of people speak, it seems, simply because they desire to hear the sound of their voice or they have nothing else to say. Richard Cory is obviously not one of these people. Whenever Richard Cory spoke, he did it for a purpose, or he didn’t speak. Consequently, people respected him and it shows in the way the townspeople describe him and behave when they are in his presence. Chances are good that Cory didn’t have many friends in this small community because most of the townsfolk were far too in awe of him to be his friend. There was a sense of Cory’s eventual downfall during these first three stanzas because everything Cory did, seemed to be too good. There is no possible way a normal human could carry himself so perfectly that it would draw the uninterrupted attention of everyone around him. The people telling the story acted as if an alarm had gone off and their idol was passing them by as soon as he was noticed.
The following two lines in Robinson’s poem mention Cory’s demeanor which elevates him even more over his fellow citizens. Cory apparently resembles a man who has no vanity and it appears that he does not desire to be in the spotlight of the town because he is very quiet, almost unsure of whether he deserves such recognition. Cory obviously knows that he is something special, yet he does not desire to be elevated to that level. Cory is also described more completely in the the third line of the third stanza as the people think that he “was everything, To make us wish that we were in his place.” (591) This says quite a bit for the man that Richard Cory was. It is very difficult to find a man so perfect, that people standing on the street observing him do not mention a single flaw. This would be especially true in Cory’s situation living in a small town where one would be almost certain to have one minor flaw worth describing. He is obviously a very humble man, almost too good to be true.
The third stanza further describes the type of man Cory is and why the people who reside in his town think so highly of him. Cory is: “richer than a king and admirably schooled in every grace.” (591) The people want to be in his place. They think that he has everything, that nothing more would ever possibly be obtained from his wonderful life. Then, a single bullet shook the town and ruined the mindsets of the townspeople forever. Their superman, who never did a single thing wrong, had done the unthinkable.
The eventual suicide which takes place at the end of the poem in the fourth stanza is not, or should not be, a surprise. The eventual demise of Cory’s psyche was expected at the end of the poem, he just couldn’t be as perfect as what was described. There had to be something wrong. The townspeople simply assume that what he has going for him in life, would make anyone happy. People are not always what they seem. An extremely wealthy man who was admired and envied by those who knew him little and consider themselves less fortunate, commits suicide. As soon as the last two lines are read, “And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, Went home and put a bullet through his head,” (591) the people telling the story are immediately elevated. The entire poem up until that point their description of Richard Cory’s great life, and how rotten their lives had become. After the smoke clears from the barrel, those people’s lives don’t seem so bad. Richard Cory’s entire life seemed entirely too good to be true, and it was.
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Analysis of Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson Essay
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In “Richard Cory”, Edwin Arlington Robinson uses irony, simplicity, and perfect rhyme to depict the theme of the poem. The rhyme in “Richard Cory” is almost song-like, and it continues throughout the whole poem. The theme of the poem is that appearances are deceiving. The poem is about a man who everyone thinks is a “gentleman from sole to crown”, who then commits suicide. Irony is used in the poem very skillfully to show that appearances may be deceiving. When reading the poem, you get caught up in the song-like rhythm and it intensifies the effect of the tragedy. You think that everything is going perfectly, and that the poem is going to have a happy ending until you get to the last two lines, which are, “And Richard Cory, one calm…show more content…
Judging by the poem, the story is told from that of one of the townspeople. This can be shown by looking at the second line of the poem where it states, "we people on the pavement looked at him" (line 2). This person seemed to be confused as to why a man held in such high regard would take his life. He seems to be confused that a man, a man everyone wanted to be like, would commit suicide. Although it is not directly stated in the poem as to why everyone is confused about his death, the tone of the poem seems to explain why they are all perplexed by his death.
The poem focuses on how the townspeople admired Richard Cory. "He was a gentleman from sole to crown" (line 3). We get the idea that Richard is a "Clean favored" good looking man, and that his attire is fully formal, "he was always quietly arrayed" (line 4). What is meant that "he was always quietly arrayed" means that he dressed nice, but not so nice as to attract attention to himself. The fact that "He glittered when he walked" gives us the idea that he has this aurora about him. He has this special quality that will make him stand out in a crowd. However, he did not look down on the townspeople. "He was always human when he talked," (line 6). He was always down to earth when he spoke to them. We learn that Richard is quite the wealthy man as it states "And he was rich-yes