The Bells

A brief examination of the poem “The Bells” by Edgar Allen Poe.

The paper sheds light on the central idea of the poem, “The Bells” by Poe. The poem revolves around different phases of human life and connects them to chiming of bells. “The Bells” is considered a near-perfect example of a poetic device called onomatopoeia.
“The Bells” on first reading would appear to be a happy song, which talks about various stages of man’s life and the significance of different sounds. But in-depth analysis reveals that this poem is actually more autobiographical in nature and though it does mention the four stages that man goes through, it is by no means a happy song. This brings us to the central idea of the poem. The poem chronicles four stages of man’s life with first being the happiest yet shortest and last two being saddest yet longer. Man’s childhood is the sunniest time of his life but it lasts for a brief period whereas maturity and near-death moments are saddest and highly undesirable yet they appear to last a very long time. It is important to understand here that keeping in view these thoughts, Poe deliberately gave his first two stanzas fewer lines than the last two. He did not specifically complain about the shortness of childhood or youth, yet he wants to convey this idea through the number of lines that these stanzas contain. The sudden leap from short to long stanzas surprises the readers and make them think about the obvious and deliberately created difference.”