Idolized Man in a Poem Richard Cory

In the poem “Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson, what does the death of this man reflect on the society and how he was idolized

Life is a continuous theme in “Richard Cory” and throughout the poem Cory is referred to in full marks, hwever with closer examination, it can be seen that Richard Cory is currently nearly seen as dead when he lives due to the fact that individuals treated with him with expensive of a status. “We people on the pavement took a look at him” (2 ), this line figuratively suggests that Cory is above the common people, perhaps referring to his elevated status, however this could also suggest a spiritual elevation as if he is a spirit walking among the grounded living similar to an angel or messiah, which is how people treat him.

“He was a gentleman from sole to crown” (3) Here the speaker tries to provide the reader numerous ideas, the very first one being actual, with the idea that he was a great male from head to foot, the other concepts focus on the phrase “sole to crown” (3) which follows a royalty aspect, that is only the first to name a few royalty parallels such as “richer than a king” (9) which refers back to the concept of a messiah, like Jesus who was seen as the “King of Kings.

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Richard Cory was just a male to individuals even though he was viewed as more than one throughout the poem “And he was always human when he talked;”( 6) as if he was not already human however was something more.

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This gives a sense of loneliness to Richard Cory who seems to have nothing but money, which could mean that the society in this poem links happiness to money. This constant reminder of the idolatry of Richard Cory is seen throughout the poem such as “imperially slim”(4) which means that he has the appearance of a ruler, which shows that he rules over the people of that town, not in a literal sense, but through their aspirations meaning the society is trapped in almost a prison of its own choosing “So on we worked, and waited for the light,”(13) much like how a prisoner is waiting for freedom, these people are waiting to become someone they are putting on a pedestal.

By Richard Cory killing himself he tries to act as a martyr to free the corrupt society from its shackles and to finally step down from being a king in their life to being a regular man and showing them that society does not need money to be happy. Money is not the root to happiness, and life is something that should be lived by every person differently, because no two people are alike so it is useless to copy others or their way of living.

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Idolized Man in a Poem Richard Cory. (2016, Sep 12). Retrieved from

Idolized Man in a Poem Richard Cory

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