But Cory’s wealth condemns him to an isolated life ..
First published in E. A. Robinson’s second book of poems, “Richard Cory” is one of the short, lyrical and dramatic character sketches that Robinson is now best known for, although during his life he was most famous for the long poems he wrote later in his career. Robinson created an imaginary place called “Tilbury Town,” which he peopled with various failed and frustrated people. Richard Cory is one of those people. The poem may be read as an ironic commentary on the American dream of wealth, success, and power. The very embodiment of that materialistic dream, Cory kills himself for some unspecified reason, perhaps a spiritual emptiness or alienation from his fellow human beings. His death leaves the people who wanted to be like him wondering about the purpose of life. The speaker, a representative of the working-class people who admire and envy Cory, thought of the man in medieval terms as a king. Robinson seems to question the values of both Cory and the speaker, as well as that of the American dream.
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Criticism on the Poem Richard Cory of Edwin Arlington Robinson ..
Americans can rest comfortably with the knowledge that Richard Cory, miserable wretch, pulled the trigger on himself, thereby assuring us that the wealth most of us will never know is not worth having anyway. If Cory actually was the person the poem tells the reader he was, not just rich but also human, graceful and kingly, it would have been proof that one can rise to the top without getting a swelled head or losing touch with the people, and, frankly, that sort of unbridled success has to be treated with suspicion.
Custom “Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson …
Without trying to belabor the obvious, in our society superior achievement is rewarded with wealth and prestige. We do not know how Richard Cory earned money, but we can see in the poem what an inspiration he was to the people on the pavement.
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