The Raven vs. The First Snowfall During the time period of Romanticism, many great poets emerged. Two of the best poets during this time period included Edgar Allen Poe and James Russell Lowell. Throughout these poet’s lives, they suffered many tragic deaths among their friends and families and decided to write about them. One of Poe’s greatest poems was called The Raven and one of Lowell’s greatest poems was called The First Snowfall. Since these two poems speak about death, they are very similar in somber tone, funeral images, and gothic elements, which all create a mournful mood. One of the ways that The Raven and The First Snowfall are similar is how the somber tone throughout the poems creates a mournful mood. “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary” (1). This quote from The Raven is an example of somber tone because it sets a dark tone to help develop the mournful mood of the poem. “And thought of the leaden sky” (26). This specific quote from The First Snowfall is a great example of a somber tone because is speaks about how the sky is a dull, gray color. The somber tone of these two poems is what makes them so similar, but there are more ways that show how they can be even more similar. The second way that The Raven and The First Snowfall are similar is by the funeral images both authors describe in their poems. One of the funeral images used by Edgar Allen Poe in The Raven is the quote: “And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor” (8). In this quote, he is trying to describe the fire as dying to represent his lover who had just died. One of the funeral images used by James Russell Lowell in The First Snowfall is used in the quote: “The noiseless work of the sky” (14). What the author is trying to describe here is that everything around him is silent because they are saddened by his daughter’s death. These two funeral images used by the authors are another way the poems create a mournful mood and how they are similar. The way that they are similar is that the authors are making images with their words to help the reader’s understand the tragic deaths they had to struggle through. Even though there are a more ways that make these poems similar, there is ne final way that pretty much ties everything together. This way is the use of gothic elements throughout the poems. “Quoth the Raven…” (44). This gothic element speaks about the supernatural element of the bird talking. This shows that the narrator is going completely insane over the fact that his lover had died. “Then with eyes that saw not, I kissed her” (37). The gothic element that Lowell is trying to describe is that his daughter had just died. What Lowell wants the reader’s to know is that he kissed his daughter for the final time because she had died. The topic of the gothic elements is the final way the poems create a mournful mood and that the elements make the two poems similar because the authors use them to describe the death in their poems. During the Romanticism time period, two poems emerged that were quite similar. They were The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe and The First Snowfall by James Russell Lowell. The three ways that they are similar is through the somber tone, the funeral images, and the gothic elements. All of these similarities are what helps the two poems create a mournful mood so that they can tell their melancholy poems.
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