From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ The Raven Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more.
The Raven (1845) | Written by: Edgar Allan Poe | Published by: Bronson Tweed
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
Thug Notes Summary & Analysis
What up mah well-read ballas? It’s 2015, Thug Notes is back, and this week we gettin insane in da membrane wit two lil’ shawties by Edgar Allen Poe.
It’s a balls cold December night in da hood where our narrator doin what all real gangstas do when they tryna get their mind off a lost hunny-love- crack open a book. Holla!
Playa bout to pass out when he hear a ruckus at tha’ door and start wiggin’. He check it- nuthin. Then homeboy hear an even louder tappin and open his window when a Raven flies his black ass in to tha crib and posts up like he own tha damn place.
Since he ain’t got nobody else to talk to, the narrator like “Say bird, what’s yo name?” All da Raven gotta say is “nevemore.” Oh shit, this fool talks? Talk or not, da narrator don’t really give no fucks. There been otha feathery bird bruthas up in his digs befo, and all jus’ ended up leavin’. When da Raven hear dat, he jus’ say “nevermore.” Da hell?
Then our boy start thinkin: “Maybe God tryna help me forget Lenore and get dem thoughts of her sweet lovin’ outta my dome.” “Nevermore”. This muthafucka. Then the narrator like “Okay. Real Talk. Am I gonna get to chill wit my girl in heaven after I die?”
MUTHA F**KA! Get da hell outta here. Shoo! But dat bird jus’ stonewallin him.
The bird doesn’t move.
So da narrator throws in the toweland accepts errything is so damn jacked up dat he ain’t neva gonna be happy no mo. Damn.
Dealin wit tha death of a back-when biddy is sho as hell one depressing- ass topic. On tha real, tho, dat’s just what what Poe was goin fo’. In “The Philosophy of Composition,” Poe pretty much say the entire reason he wrote dis poem was to depress tha shit outta people. Thanks Poe. He even break it down fo’ us: So how can a brutha make somebody sad as hell? Step 1. talk bout death. But that ain’t enough- a playa gotta make sho’ dat erryone can relate to dat pain. And what’d da saddest thing a brotha can lose? You got it, son. Some o dat oooo- weeeee So bam- Poe mix it all togetha and tell us his recipe for da most melancholy joose you eva gon’ sip on- the death of a beautiful woman.
Peep deez references playa play- dat Raven can be referencin a couple different mythological traditions- In Norse Myth, Odin got two Ravens rollin’ in his posse named Huginn and Muginn- thought and memory. These lil’ thuggies flew round and gave Odin the DL on what was goin down in da hood. In The Raven, the narrata’s bird hookin him up wit some info too, jus’ not da good kind. Our boy havin’ to do his best to forget bout Lenore, but all dat punk-ass Raven do is fill his head wit thoughts and memories of dat hunny.
Now fo’ my Greek homies, ravens were associated wit prophecy and da god Apollo. Maybe dat’s why da raven is described as “ominous”- cuz he related to omens and hintin dat some gnarly shit gonna go down.
Speakin of da future: Poe bitch slappin us wit the Raven sayin “nevemore” ova’ and ova’. Thing is, our narrator start off sayin da opposite: “for evermore.” But by the end, he and dat funky bird droppin da same beat, sayin dat his soul gonna be lifted “nevemore.” To this thug, dat emphasizin da connection between the Raven and da narrator: they jus’ gonna sit they sad, lonely asses at home sayin da same thing over and over again. Don’t think it’s a coincidence dat Nevermore rhyme with Lenore, yo.