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The Raven

The Raven

by Edgar Allan Poe

Analysis: What's Up With the Title?

Well, in one sense, the title is pretty basic. Since the poem is about a raven, "The Raven" makes a good title, as far as we're concerned. Still, Poe had other options. He could easily have called it "Nevermore" or "Lenore." Calling it "The Raven" does at least a couple of things. On the first reading, it prepares us for what is coming and gives us a little hint about the big event in this poem. After all, the Raven doesn't show up for a while, so we spend the first 38 lines wondering what the title refers to. More importantly though, the title focuses our attention completely on the bird. There are other things happening in this poem, but the title puts the raven at the head of the pack (or of the flock, if you will). It gives us one more reason to wonder what this bird is, where it comes from, and what it might represent.

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