Annabel Lee: Tone and Theme
The poem Annabel Lee mostly talks about the death of Annabel Lee, the tartness of the writer when he was left by her, and also the love she and the writer had which was very big. From these points, we can get a conclusion that this poem has the theme of losing the beloved one forever. Its dominant theme is also about an everlasting love. From knowing this theme, we can easily recognize the tones of the story being told. The tones are happiness and sadness. First of all, the writer reveals happiness and optimistic tone when he remembered the past, but when he came back to the present, the tone changes drastically and it seems like he expressed sorrow and anger.
The happiness part was when the writer described how big and powerful their love was. He described it as if there was nothing against their sweet love; that it was very strong although death made them apart. Then, the sadness part is that when Annabel Lee died meanwhile she and the writer was enjoying their love together, their young love which was very sweet. Her death was such a hole of pain for the writer. It was too sudden for him to lose the woman he loved. However, there is also a cynical tone. It was when he mentioned about the angles that were jealous with the love they had, so those angels took Annabel Lee to heaven and disaggregated them. Those tones are included in despair tone. The emotional coloring was so strong because most of the dictions in this poem use sentiment words to express the sadness and the anger the writer felt for his woman died. The emotions are also given using symbol. The symbol is Annabel Lee itself, because her name is mentioned very often in every line. Here is the detail of the tone and theme in every each stanza of this poem:
The theme of these two stanzas is about Annabel Lee and the love she had for the writer. It is stated there too that they loved each other with a love that was more than love. These two stanzas evoke joyful and romantic tone because they both express an everlasting love explicitly.
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
Here the conflict of the poem goes. The stanza below tells us about Annabel Lee’s relatives who came to pick up her body and buried it in a grave. It is clearly that Annabel Lee died, but the reason is not stated. It knocked the writer down for he really loved the woman. They still enjoyed the wonderful love they had but death did them apart. The tones this stanza has are sorrow, sadness, and pain.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre In this kingdom by the sea.
The writer released his disappointment and sadness of losing his woman by giving an assumption. This assumption is that the woman was dead because the angels above are too jealous of their romantic relationship so they took her to the heaven to separate them. This assumption is also used to show off Annabel Lee’s beauty and perfection by comparing with angels explicitly. This stanza evokes sorrow and cynical tones. We can feel the cynical tone clearly in the first and the second line.
The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
The fifth stanza talks about the love Annabel Lee and the writer had. The writer conveyed it by giving a comparisons between their love and any else’s love. The comparison gives us an interpretation that the love they had was very strong that nothing and no one could never separate them; even if it was death, they would be still together and stand with the faith they kept. By feeling this deep theme, we would getthe tones which are optimistic, happiness, powerful.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
This last stanza is more likely the top of the disappointment of the writer. He felt despondent after Annabel Lee’s death. He loved her but nothing else he could do except recalling her and their memories. The representation of his yearning was when he said he lied down by the side of Annabel Lee’s grave. It might sound insane, but it was a canalization of the writer to express his longing. This gives us more tones to get.Those tones are romantic, sadness, powerful, and sorrow.
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,