However, unlike Jay Gatsby who rose to wealth through illegal means such as gambling and bootlegging, Richard Cory appears to have acquired his riches through hereditary means, by the reference to a king, or perhaps through business. Fourth Stanza So on we worked, and waited for the light, And went without the meat, and cursed the bread; And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, Went home and put a bullet through his head. Copyright © 1969 by the University of Georgia Press. Money appears to be a key that unlocks happiness to people on the lower end of the financial spectrum. This is the most drastic and unexpected change in tone throughout the poem. The second two tell what it is in his natural appearance that sets him off. Reissued in 1969 by Kennikat Press Port Washington, N.
After suggesting that he came from a monied background, we are now informed that this was indeed the case, and the dashes in the line serve to emphasise the point. The poem serves as an indictment of those who study at a distance, of those who fail to get a feel of their subject, and of those who let petty personal emotions deprive themselves of human companionship. Source Database: Literature Resource Center. In the poem Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson, the author tries to communicate several things. This setting makes everything seem so peaceful, but in reality Richard Cory was killing himself.
Copyright © 1985 by John Lucas. Robinson may also have been trying to communicate that although money can make a person happy, they may grow tired of it over time. Shift: The shift in this poem occurs at the second to last line. Guys want to be him, girls want to be with him, but no one sees the darkness this dude carries around with him. And first of all, it is to be observed that the structure of Richard Corythe steady build-up to the surprise ending in the last line, is not characteristic.
And he was always quietly arrayed, And he was always human when he talked; But still he fluttered pulses when he said, 'Good-morning,' and he glittered when he walked. Quiet desperation, the agony that Richard Cory's neighbours failed to notice, is a distinguishing feature of many of Robinson's characters. Though in his young adulthood he had trouble getting other folks to publish his poems, in 1896 he decided to self-publish his collection The Torrent and the Night Before. The blind see only what they can covet or envy. He is a success in their eyes but a failure in his own, as we judge from the fact that, despite his high position in the town, he commits suicide. This is our introduction to the eponymous character, Richard Cory. Unquestionably, he was moved deeply by the tragic incidence of failure in the lives of his two brothers.
As people focus on all that they lack, they tend to ignore the flaws in those they envy. In conclusion, even though the author takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster he keeps the readers attention throughout the poem with his different uses of tone. The last two lines of the stanza record a total impression of a life that perfectly realizes the dream that most men have of an ideal existence; while the first two lines of the last stanza bring us back with bitter emphasis to the poem's beginning, and the impassable gulf, for most peoplebut not, they think, for Richard Corybetween dream and fact. Though people try to resist envy, most succumb to it from time to time. The people who worked downtown on the pavement were the people that judged him just by the way that he looked. This short sixteen lined story tells us a lot about the human irony that constantly surrounds us, the power of being admired and envied at the same time.
The poet, with a more profound grasp of life than either, shows us only what life itself would show us; we know Richard Cory only through the effect of his personality upon those who were familiar with him, and we take both the character and the motive for granted as equally inevitable. The tone after the shift is rather indifferent, there is no diction indicating remorse or any other emotion over his death. 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, which speaks for itself. This is precisely the lesson that the 'we' of the poem, Cory's neighbours in Tilbury Town, never learn: the night on which Cory shoots himself remains 'calm' in their view, and the use of that word only underlines the distance between him and them. As it turns out: a lot more.
Downtown is where the author first introduces Richard Cory. Just because a man looks like he should be happy doesn't mean he is actually happy. Moreover, the people that seem to have it all may still be emotionally unstable and act irrationally such as committing suicide. People that are not as well off as others should not measure happiness by just dollars and cents. When these three definitions are read in the poem, they suggest that Cory is everything in finery, in death, and in monetary punishment that could make the speaker wish to be dressed in fine clothes, dead, and with his money taken from him.
Here, simply a place, it has not yet acquired a dramatic role. Life for him was meaningless because he lacked spiritual values; he lived only on a material level. Many think that the poem Richard Cory could have been based upon his brother who came to an inauspicious end when his business collapsed. Richard Cory also appears to keep all of his emotions hidden from the rest of the world through his everyday routine. However, Richard Cory didn't have everything; the desire to live. He was extremely courteous and polite. To what extent that rivalry-jealousy pattern was subliminal is hard to say; but not, by any means, was all of it so.