© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


Symbol Analysis

This is an imaginary paradise, a place of wealth and happiness and peace. In the old legends, it was a city made entirely of gold. In this case, though, it's not gold that our speaker is looking for. He wants to be reunited with his loved ones, to be free of his grief. The image of a sparkling city may be meant to make us think of heaven (line 38) where the departed have apparently gone.

  • Line 42: In this line, the image of the glittering city flashes in front of us for a second, and we feel a little bit of hope for the first time in the poem. The bummer about Eldorado, though, is that it doesn't exist. It's famous, like Atlantis, for being a place you could search for, but never find. The happiness of the speaker is a mirage, a fantasy, or, more specifically, a dream. Nothing that he finds in this dream world really exists, and he can't take anything back with him.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...