“Richard Cory” The Unknown Emptiness
The poem, “Richard Cory,” by Edwin Arlington Robinson shows a man's life story summarized into sixteen lines. “Richard Cory” is a narrative poem illustrating how we, as individuals, should cherish what we have, because the truly important things in life can be lost if our attention strays to envy, just like the poem says, “To make us wish that we were in his place.” But the question is: Do we really want to be him? We should be thankful for who we are; this would lead to a greater sense of satisfaction, thus contradicting the natural human urge to want what we do not, and cannot, have.
Sometimes we get caught in material things and often think that those who have all are happier then but as we read on, this is not the case for “Richard Cory.” In a way, the story is telling us not to judge people by their appearance and that there is more to a man than what appears on the outside. There was one thing I observed from the start of the poem: “He was rich – yes, richer than a king- (Cory). This wealthy and educated person is admired by the people in his town, but even though he had all this, he was an empty and sad person who mentally collapsed. All his previous intentions were gone.
I believe that a suicide attempt is a clear indication that something is gravely wrong in a person’s life. No matter the race or age of the person or how rich or poor we are, it is true that most people who commit suicide have a mental and or emotional disorder.
We might compare “Richard Cory” to celebrities and wealthy people. Being in the public eye and trying to please everybody can take its toll. Writing from the first-person point of view, the speaker immediately casts Richard as a celebrity, explaining that “We people on the pavement looked at him.” Richard Cory would go “down town” and the separation is recognized. The people look at him like he was god.
We people sometimes have higher expectations...