What are the tones of the story, "The Night the Bed Fell"?

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gpane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although the story recounts a series of chaotic and confusing incidents, the main tone is light-hearted. The narrator is relating these events retrospectively, and is able to look back on them with calm amusement. There is an element of slapstick comedy as events spiral out of control. The story also edges into the comic grotesque mode with the depiction of the narrator's decidedly peculiar relatives, such as the various aunts who suffer from 'burglar phobia'. The narrator talks of them with affection and an element of good-natured mockery.

The tone of the story is also nostalgic overall, as the narrator looks back to a time of when family members (odd or otherwise) assembled together, and looked out for each other, even if the events of this particular night are cast in a humorous light. Whether or not they actually happened as recounted, is debatable, as Thurber was given to embroidering these personal reminiscences of his past. 

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