Richard Cory, by Edwin Arlington Robinson


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A. Title: The title of this poem suggests that it is about a man, possibly a man
people like and possibly a man they do not like. From the vagueness of the title
the man could be an outcast.
B. Paraphrase: When Richard Cory goes downtown, people look at him. He was
dressed nice from head to toe, clean and very thin. He was alway quietly well-ordered and human when he talked. But he fluttered when he said, "Good morning," and glittered when he walked. He was richer than a king and very well mannered and graceful. We thought he was everything, and wanted to be him. So he worked and waited for light, didn't eat meat and hated the bread, one summer night he went home and shot himself in the head.
C: Connotations:The poem is written in quatrains ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, GHGH and has an irregular rhythm to it. There is imagery in the poem when it says, "he glittered when he walked." Everyone liked Richard Cory and wanted to be him because he was so perfect, however Richard Cory was still unhappy which caused his untimely demise.
D. Attitude: The speaker in this poem is most likely a person from the town that
represents the town as a whole, a synecdoche. "We," being everyone who had
ever seen Richard Cory. The attitude of the speaker is one of possibly reverence.
The townspeople liked Richard Cory because of how he was and they were sad
to hear that he had killed himself. The attitude of the poet is that what happened
had happened and it couldn't be changed. Even though Richard Cory had
everything a man could ask for, he was still unhappy.
E. Shifts: There are no shifts in speaker throughout the poem but the attitude of
the poem takes a turn towards morbid at the end of the final quatrain when he
kills himself. The shift is important because it gets to the main point of the story.
Just because someone has everything and appears happy, does not mean that
is truly how they are.
F. Title: The title for this poem after reading it could be seen as his epitaph on his
gravestone; his name posted at the top and then a small story about his life and

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how he died.
G. Theme: The subjects in this poem include how people view others and the
assumptions they make based on those view and how a very rich person
monetarily could still be poor in the area of happiness. i think the poet is trying to get the point across that a person should not wish to be in another's place no
matter how good it looks, the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.


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