In "The Raven," how do the raven's replies keep reminding the speaker and the audience of Lenore?

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The first reply, of sorts, that the speaker receives when he opens the door to discover the source of the "tapping at (his) chamber door" is actually the darkness: "Darkness there and nothing more." The darkness and the silence, offered by the raven, fundamentally represent the speaker's loss. His "sorrow for the lost Lenore" has left a darkness and an emptiness in his life, and so the darkness at the door is arguably the first reply that reminds him of Lenore.

The raven's first spoken reply is simply an echo of the speaker's "Lenore?" The raven is in this sense a reflection or a part of the speaker, manifest in external form.

The next reply offered by the raven is to perch "upon a bust of Pallas" and sit there in silence. The silence again perhaps reminds the speaker of Lenore because it reminds him of what he has been left with now that she has gone: "stillness," "darkness," and emptiness.

When asked for its name, the raven replies "Nevermore," and this one word is its only verbal response for the rest of the poem. This word of course reminds the speaker of his "lost Lenore," because he is aware that she will never again return to him, that he will never be able to forget her, and that her absence means that he will never again be able to fill the darkness that he has been left with.

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It is entirely fitting that a poem that is about the effects of obsession on the human psyche should internally, in its rhyme and rhythm, repeatedly refer back to the focus of that obsession. In this poem we are presented with a student, studying late at night in "bleak December" who is trying to find release or to drown his sorrow over the death of his love, Lenore. When the raven enters the room, what the speaker says and how he accuses the raven reveals far more about the speaker's own internal anguish and sorrow than it does about the raven, however note how the raven's single-word response, "Nevermore," continually forces us to remember Lenore, which is the topic of so many of the speaker's questions, because the two words rhyme. In the speaker's mind, therefore, the raven and his response is set against the name of his love and possibilities of their reunion, creating a maddening conflict that literally dominates and crushes his mind:

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

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