Richard Cory

Do We Really Want To Be Richard Cory? College

William Grifenhagen

11 November 2015

Edwin Arlington Robinson struggled with depression throughout most of his life, especially during his early years as an adolescent. When asked about his childhood, Robinson himself described it as “stark and unhappy” ( He even wrote in a letter to a friend of his, Amy Lowell, that “when [he] was six years old, [he] remembered wondering why [he] had been born” ( It is no surprise that this bleakness that encumbered his childhood is clearly reflected in his most famous poem, “Richard Cory”. In this poem, Robinson reveals something to the audience that everyone needs to realize: people’s outside appearance and demeanor are not always directly representative of their overall level of happiness and general satisfaction with life.

Richard Cory, the person that the poem is about, seems to have it all and is a well-respected, handsome, and wealthy man. Robinson describes Richard as “always quietly arrayed” and writes that he “glittered when he walked.” The audience is clearly made aware that Richard is “somebody” in this town. Richard is someone that the community as a whole knows, respects, admires, and even worships. Not only does the community venerate Richard, but they...

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