An unnamed first-person narrator informs the reader about a fellow townsperson named Richard Cory who never fails to look like a proper gentlemen whenever he leaves his home. The narrator provides a quick physical description of Mr. Cory as slim.
Next comes a description of his behavior that is slightly more robust than the physical, but only just. For instance, Mr. Cory manner of discourse with others is oddly described as “human.” Even stranger, perhaps, is the use of the word “glittered” to illustrate the way in which Richard Cory walks.
Cory was rich. In this, the narrator is as straightforward as he ever gets until he informs the reader what eventually happened to the town’s richest citizen. He also makes a point of letting the reader know that Richard Cory was not some idiot who fell into an inheritance nor was he a spoiled rich jerk. In fact, his monetary wealth seems to have been perfectly matched with his graciousness, style and modesty. Richard Cory was the very model of the guy that everyone would want to trade places with or have their son grow up to be just like. Wanting to trade places with Richard Cory was not an act of envy, but an expression of admiration even as he never occasionally had enjoy a meal without meat because he couldn’t afford it or had to eat hard, stale bread.
Yes, indeed, Richard Cory really and truly had it all. Which makes the fact that one day he decided to head home and shoot himself in the head all the more incomprehensible.