by Edgar Allan Poe
The Raven Theme of The Supernatural
Once you've read "The Raven" through, you're probably pretty used to the idea of a talking bird. But step back from that for a second, and think about it. If we heard a bird talk, we'd probably run screaming from the room. At the very least, we think it qualifies as pretty darn supernatural. The speaker thinks a lot about where this bird came from, whether it's some kind of demon, or maybe even a prophet. He also ponders deep issues, such as the afterlife and the existence of God.
Questions About The Supernatural
- Do you think religion plays an important role in this poem? If so, where do you see the evidence?
- The speaker half-suspects the Raven is an evil spirit. Does this seem reasonable to you? What evidence can you muster for or against this theory?
- Does the talking Raven actually seem supernatural to you? Is it possible that there is nothing going on here that can't be explained in a scientific manner?
- Does it seem like the idea of heaven provides any lasting hope in this poem?
Chew on This
The poem carefully closes down any possibility for salvation, hope or happiness. The supernatural elements of this poem are purely evil and malevolent.