The poem which is written by Edwin Arlington Robinson is about a man named Richard Cory who appeared to have looks and a respectable persona. Richard Cory who is excellent personally and financially despite all this he decides to take his life. In this poem is on the mystery of why Richard Cory committed suicide. People admired Cory because of his possession they did not expect this from him. While they struggled he had everything. In this poem we see the richness in language. Although has poetic devices there not so many as you would expect in a poem (Gioia 9).
The words have resonance given that the poem is quite literal. “Whenever Richard Cory went down town” this phrase sets the dichotomy that holds throughout the poem. Richard Cory went down town, this shows that he must have previously been in uptown showing a wealthy residential neighborhood. As for down town this is a place suggests business district where apartment dweller and the working class reside. The main part of the poem shows the differences between the wealthy and the less well off. The writer belongs to the class of the less well off. In the second line “we people on the pavement” suggests a lower class: we looked at him as well as merely staring at him” here “looked at him” this clearly shows the distinction between the two classes that is the “us” and “him” (Gioia 23). The third and forth lines continues to show the distinction in the two classes. The term "gentleman” shows the wealthy class that Richard Cory belongs to.There are few uses of figurative language; Cory demonstrating his gentlemanly quality from “ sole “ which means his shoes and “crown” meaning the top of his head. This produces double meaning including the kind of head gear a king would wear. This is the use of figurative language. This part also emphasizes how wealthy Cory is. Through the writer way of writing one can’t fail to notice that Richard Cory is really a nice guy. He was not arrogant; he did not look down on the common folks. “He was always human when he talked” this shows Cory as a friendly guy, happy he is just what the writer expects him to be. Cory made people a little nervous when he addressed them, he was gold to them this is contrary to the fact that he was “quietly arrayed”. Cory is indeed a nice guy he would even chat with the common folk but the writer wants to show that he still had an effect on people. As we go on in the poem we see that the writer exaggerates Cory’s wealth he says “richer than a king”. He also tells us that Cory is really educated in every way. This clearly shows that that the referring to money not personality. All this observation is made by the common folks who also draw conclusion. All they wish is that they were Cory. The less well off are still struggling to be like Cory (Gioia 29).
The icon of success, a man who the common folks wanted to be like finally shocks them he kills himself. We can clearly see from this that looks are deceiving. But it shows the truth about life, the nature of human personalities .without any metaphor or simile, the rhythm, rime scheme really captures but still the poem remains quite literal. The writer clearly shows that people who seem to have it all maybe emotionally unstable and can cat irrationally like committing suicide. The poem is structured in such all this information about Cory flows. The tone of the poem as it starts is admiring with small hint of envy. After the shift the tone is indifferent there is no diction showing remorse or any emotion over his death. The main theme is that people are not always what they appear to be. The theme is further brought about by use of irony, simplicity and perfect rhyme. On the title it shows the importance of the speaker but does not implying anything more. In the poem everyone wants to be like Cory. This is not right because people should be happy with who they are otherwise the world would be a boring place with everyone perfect. Although it is human nature to always want to be admired. The poem is very simple as you read slowly through the first two stanzas you really think you are handling a very simple predictable poem until you read the last two lines your believe changes. You’re shocked, the poem simply turns complicated and open ended. Even though Cory is a perfect man as the poem starts but as the speaker says he is human begins to show he is after all not all that perfect (Charlesworth 14). The author of the poem as we learn in his biography he suffered in poverty for a short time thus money would be a very important factor in his life. The author creates a relationship between the author and the reader; I would want Cory to succeed in life. The author wants the reader to be left with a lesson that he illustrates slowly. The poem is shaped b the problems of his life and the lives of those around him.
The poem really intrigues readers because of the juxtaposition of this old, highly rigid, formulated, classical style with this very modern personal subject.