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“The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe vs. The Raven: the movie vs. That’s So Raven by Disney

March 22, 2012


John Tenniel illustration for Edgar Allan Poe'...

To catch a serial killer you must think like a… guy who writes weird poetry and short stories. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It used to be that Hollywood was satisfied with butchering classic novels.  They made Sherlock Holmes an action hero.  They gave The Three Musketeers fighting zeppelins(?).  They gave I, Robot an uprising and loud violence.  But it seems Hollywood is no longer satisfied by tinkering with the classics. 

Now they also want to butcher the authors of classic literature.  The upcoming movie The Raven is about Edgar Allen Poe trying to catch a serial killer inspired by his own stories.  Okay, if you want to take some liberties with Edgar Allen Poe’s life, that’s understandable.  Hollywood is known for taking liberties.  But did they have to turn this into another serial killer movie?  I have the feeling I’ve seen this movie several times before I’ve even seen it. 

I understand that Hollywood has to make movies that they think people want to see, and people don’t want to see a film about a (probably) creepy guy who marries his teenage cousin, and dies drunk and broke.  That could be a bit of a downer.  But all they had to do was make his cousin hot (and adult, of course) with a lot of cleavage, turn Edgar Allen Poe into a fun drunk talking to a raven that speaks English, and it could have been like The Hangover in 1840s Baltimore. 

I might have paid money to see that movie. 


“The Raven”  by Edgar Allen Poe. 

I don’t read poetry, and “The Raven” is a perfect example why.  It’s short (which is good) but complicated (which is bad).  Readers argue over what it means, like what is “Nevermore” referring to.    To me, a talking bird is a talking bird, and if there’s a metaphor (or something literary) involved, I get confused, and I don’t always trust other people’s interpretations of what the poems mean. 


Edgar Allen Poe short stories 

Edgar Allen Poe was one of the first authors to write short story mysteries, and the amazing thing is that these stories still hold up.  “The Tell Tale Heart” is still awesome.  It’s way better than reading Crime and Punishment by some Russian author with a last name that I can’t spell.  “The Cask of Amontillado” is one of the few stories that riveted my entire English class when I was in 9th grade. 

My 9th grade English teacher had to be disappointed in us, though.  She worked really hard to point out all the literary devices that Poe weaved into his stories, and we snickered as we pointed out words like “damn” and “hell” in the literature book. 

My 9th grade English teacher might have been disappointed in our behavior, but she might be proud that I’ve started a blog about literacy.  Then again, she might not be proud of my BEST JOKES EVER!! 


That’s So Raven by Disney Channel 

I didn’t care for the show when it was on, but now that it’s been replaced by stuff like Ant Farm and Jessie, I appreciate it more.  It’s sad when I yearn for the days that Disney Channel had shows like That’s So Raven and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, shows that were only mildly annoying instead of mind-numbingly annoying. 


I know it’s lame that I concluded my literary analysis of Edgar Allen Poe with a section devoted to That’s So Raven.  I wanted to tie the Baltimore Ravens to the poem and movie and put the Baltimore Ravens in the title of this analysis (because I love football), but for the life of me I couldn’t think of a way to link the Baltimore Ravens to Edgar Allen Poe.

From → Literary Combat

One Comment
  1. I remember The Cask of Amontillado. And the House of Usher. Couldn’t sleep for some nights!

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