EDGAR ALLAN POE
"A Dream within A Dream" "A Dream" "Dreams"
BY: Blake Martinez
Okay, well enjoy my analysis of this weird poet.
"A Dream"- This famous sonnet is all about dreams giving people the security during a dark time. Dreams can give freedom to a suffering man. This person in the sonnet talks about his life being full of hardships and how dreams help in the midst of his dark night. In the end it is all about how every person must be capable of facing reality.
"Dreams"- The poem opens by saying that the man wishes his life were actually just a “lasting dream” and that he would just sleep until some new morning, some new future. Even if the dream is a bad dream or a nightmare it would still help. The poem suddenly shifts into him saying that he has already experienced happiness. The speaker breaks off from this moment of sheer terror and repeats that he has been happy in life and therefore he loves the theme of dreams – since they can bring to the imagination “more lovely things … than young Hope” has ever known.
Symbolism is used extensively throughout these very deep dream poems.
In Dream Within a Dream, symbolism is evident when Poe references the ocean and also Life being a dream. When you think of a beach you think it is a calming and relaxing place, but in this case it is a very loud and scary place. With the ocean, Poe talks about a person standing on this very tormenting and creepy shore. When Poe is mentions the golden sand and how it "creeps through my fingers to the deep" (line 16-17), he is actually talking about reality slipping right through his hands. This sand is his only possible proof that his life not actually a dream. Even though he is trying so hard to grasp and hold on, life helplessly slips away. Also the "pitiless wave"(line 22) that Poe talks about reveals the inability for him to prove that in fact his life is not a dream. This ocean scene really doesn't help reassure him at all because all this puts him in internal turmoil. Sadly, nothing the reader does can stop life from aimlessly slipping away from him.
In A Dream, symbolism is also evident For example, “In visions of the dark knight, I have dreamed of joy departed- But a waking dream of life and light, Hath left me broken-hearted.”(line 1) Poe writes about his feelings especially about his desire and the sorrow he is feeling. This dark Knight he talks about is his miserable life. This dream is his guidance that he needs during his lackluster life. Then in line 10-11 when he says,"that holy dream, while all the world were chiding, Hath cheered me as a lovely dream," this is his way of saying dreams are his only escape from reality. The sad thing is we all have to be able to face reality and that is what this poem talks about. The "holy dream" is the way a suffering man can get through life.
In Dreams, the symbolism is created when the boy in the poem talks about heaven. Heaven in this poem is not exactly desired, well at first you might think it is but he has actually has experienced better things through his dreams. As it says in Line 10-12,"Continuing-as dreams have been to me in my young boyhood- should it thus be given, twere tolly still to hope for higher heaven," the boy might not need heaven but he can still be aware of it. Dreams help suffice for the lack of this boy's "heaven". Also symbolism appears when he shows his love the of dreams – since they can bring to the imagination “more lovely things … than young Hope” (line 33-34) has ever known.
Intended use of the Symbolism
PERSONIFICATION ALSO KNOWN AS INANIMATE OBJECTS COMING TO LIFE
PERSONIFICATION IN THE POEMS
line 6 "hope has flown away"
line 16 "how they creep, through my fingers to the deep"
These 2 sentences from the poems are examples of personification. Personification in the first one is talking about the persons hope flying away or just vanishing. Without dreams hope is gone and is not coming back. Then the second one is talking about the grains of sand and how they keep falling no matter how hard he tries to hold on. It is talking about the persons life slipping away from him, or reality slipping away from him.
line 2 "joy departed"
line 4 "broken-hearted"
At first you might think Joy departed means that he is sad, but it is actually him emitting joy. This is because dreaming of joy is how he keeps his life going. Then in line 4, broken hearted means the classic meaning...that you have a problem with your heart. Just kidding, it is actually the feeling of sorrow because his time of dreaming is over.
line 8 "a chaos of deep passion"
line 32 "to the delirious eye"
A chaos of deep passion in line 8 is talking about his life being full of love and joy. To the delirious eye means that only a certain group of people can have happiness outside of dreams. In this poem the personification serves as a way to express a certain feeling in a way that people wouldn't think to use.
WHY POE USES PERSONIFICATION
LINE BREAKS....WOO FOR SHIFTS IN TONE
i hate my life
<------ An example of the line breaks Poe uses
but then again life has given me so many great things
Poe successfully breaks his lines:)
In A dream Within a Dream, between lines 11 and 12,
"Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
of a tormented shore."
This break is so meaningful by the link that is created by separating the poem. That sounds confusing but he uses this break to start the beach scene but its ironic similarity. in the first part of the poem he is doubting himself, and then in the second part he is trying to assure himself. The line break just helps emphasize his struggles.
In A Dream,
Between lines 4 and 5,
"But a waking dream of life and light
Hath left me broken-hearted
Ah! what is not a dream by day
To him whose eyes are cast"
This line break is also similar to the break in the previous poem. The stanza before the break is talking about his dark life and then after the break transfers to him talking about if not for dreams he would be so lifeless.
Between lines 26 and 27,
"That dream was as that night wind let it pass.
I have been happy,tho in a dream."
Poe breaks off from this moment of sheer, soul-withering terror in the first part and repeats that he has been happy in life (if only in a dream). Hes happy and accepting that he can and is capable of being happy.