Biblical Allegory In The Raven By Nathaniel Hawthorne, And Herman Melville

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The impact that Christianity has had on the world’s culture is unmistakable. The Bible is regarded as the best-selling book of all time. Perhaps it would make sense then that biblical allegory is one of the most popular literary devices used. Three immensely popular writers from the 19th century, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Herman Melville, used the Bible as inspiration for their tales, drawing on Satan as their outline for the antagonist. The writers leave both loud and subtle hints of this relationship throughout their stories. Unsubtle suggestions include other characters referring to the antagonist as the devil while an example of a gentle suggestion could be the conflict between the antagonist and protagonist of a story.…show more content…
In “The Raven,” a raven replies to a man’s pleas with the word “nevermore” repeatedly. The bird could be seen as representing the devil, as he alerts the man that he will not be joining his late wife in heaven. The man asks the raven if “‘there – is there balm in Gilead – tell me – tell me, I implore!’ ‘Quoth the Raven ‘Nevermore.’’” Like Satan, the raven seems to enjoy producing pain others. Anecdotal evidence from the text is not even needed. Poe himself wrote in his “Philosophy of Composition” that the purpose of having a raven be a vehicle for the message was to have a dark messenger. One could make the connections and make a strong case that the Raven was sent from the gates of Hell to extract despair from the

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