Richard Cory

Kei Quinal

Reading — Advanced Level
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Read the text and answer the questions

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich—yes, richer than a king—
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
  1. What phrase from the first paragraph suggests that Richard Cory was always under the people’s scrutiny?

  2. What does the phrase “still he fluttered pulses” mean?

  3. Based on stanza 3, how did the people perceive Richard Cory?

  4. According to the third stanza, the people’s perception of Richard Cory’s success was based on   .

  5. The final lines of the poem show that  

  6. What kind of person was the poem’s narrator?


Practice your writing skills by discussing the questions below

  1. What made Richard Cory commit suicide?

  2. Have you heard of people like Richard Cory who had a tragic death?

  3. What is the biggest take away from the poem?

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