Annabel Lee Poem Summary and Analysis
The theme of “Annabel Lee” is love travels through life and death. This is discovered through Poe’s use of hyperboles. For example, Poe writes “Can ever dissever my soul from the soul” in line 32. In this line, the narrator exaggerates his love with Annabel Lee stating that their love will last forever and that it cannot be broken by other people or other realms. This line comes after Annabel Lee’s death in the poem. The narrator states that their love is strong enough to bond their souls together. Annabel Lee’s soul will have a part of the narrator in it while going to the afterlife. The narrator will have a part of Annabel Lee’s soul while living on Earth.
Poe went through three out of the five stages of grief resulting in a normal reaction to Annabel Lee’s death. He first went through bargaining which is accompanied by guilt. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross stated that this stage comes with many of the “what if” phrases attempting to change death. Poe felt guilty thinking he should have protected her more. Following bargaining, Poe went through anger. We see this with the use of diction in stanza 4 expressing his anger toward the angels and heaven, stating that the angels committed a sin of envy and that they should be punished instead. He sees Annabel Lee’s death as an unfair punishment towards him. Poe’s final stage was acceptance. He accepted the death of Annabel Lee and gives himself comfort by stating that their love for each other still lives on.