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Deception of Appearances in Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson Essay

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In "Richard Cory", Edwin Arlington Robinson explores the deception of

appearances. Richard Cory was a wealthy man, admired and envied by those who

consider themselves less fortunate than he. Seemingly, Richard Cory was the model of

success, dignity, and wealth. A standard to which every man was measured. However,

Richard Cory didn't have everything; the desire to live. Through Richard Cory, Robinson

illustrates how appearances can be deceiving and how depression and despair is not

confined to the "people on the pavement" (line 2).


Cory's portrait is drawn for us by a representative man, who depicts him as

"imperially slim," (line 4) "a gentleman from sole to crown," (line 3) and "richer than a

king" (line 9). Cory is immediately elevated from the ordinary man to a position often

associated with monarchy. This contrast serves as the primary tone of the poem.

Nowhere are we given direct evidence of Cory's real character; we are given only the

comments of the people about him, except for his last act, taking his own life. Iro...


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