Edgar Allan Poe's Use Of Personification Essay

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“A Dream Within a Dream” by Edgar Allan Poe expresses the fatalistic view that every hope is fleeting, but highlights a desire for such a stance to be untrue. The speaker is convinced of the ultimate loss of all hope for the future. To convey his thoughts on the nature of hope, the speaker wonders: Yet if hope has flown away In a night, or in a day, In a vision, or in none, Is it therefore the less gone? (6-11) Poe’s use of personification evokes an image of hope vanishing like a bird flying away. Regardless of the circumstances of the loss of something important, the final impact of that loss is equally devastating. Whether the loss of hope is perceived or actual, the resulting hopelessness is the same. The speaker asserts the inevitability of the waning of hope in the lines, “Grains of the golden sand — / How few! yet how…show more content…
In anguish about grains of sand slipping from his hands, the speaker prays, “O God! can I not save / One from the pitiless wave?” (21-22). The pitiless wave is a symbol of the ruthless nature of reality. The speaker desperately wants to keep at least some hope alive in face of the harshness of life, even while convinced that he will not be able to. He understands the value of hope in spite of his belief that eventually he will lose it all. The speaker expresses his wish against his held faith by wondering, “Is all that we see or seem / But a dream within a dream?” (23-24). The use of alliteration in these lines makes them memorable and helps convey the message they hold clearly and emphatically. Poe cleverly uses syntax to change the tone of an otherwise assertive statement to a questioning one. The speaker is no longer certain about the illusory nature of reality and wants to be proven wrong in his skepticism. Rather, he now muses about whether life exists or is just an illusion. Hope allures everyone, even those in a state of utter

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