What does "token" in line 27 mean? fare weight noise scepter none of these

Expert Answers
cldbentley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Edgar Allan Poe's poem, "The Raven," was written in the early 1800's. Naturally, the language used in the poem is not the same as the language we use on a daily basis.

When you are not familiar with a word's meaning, try to use context clues to figure it out; look at the words around the unknown term to decipher what meaning might make sense.  In the case of a multiple choice item, try to substitute each possible term for the word in question; if a choice does not make sense, eliminate it.

The word "token," which appears in line 27, is not used in the context in which we usually see it.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token...

In this case, Poe uses the word "token" to mean a sign.

As the narrator sits reading and mourning the loss of his beloved, Lenore, there is a tapping at his door.  When he opens the door, there is no one there and there is no sign (token) of who it might have been.