Discussion Topic

The narrator's response to the noises he hears in "The Raven."

Summary:

The narrator initially thinks the noises in "The Raven" are from a visitor at his chamber door, but he becomes frightened, suspecting it might be a ghost, possibly of his deceased love, Lenore. When the tapping continues, he realizes it comes from the window, and upon opening it, a raven enters. The bird's repeated word "Nevermore" leads the narrator to despair over never reuniting with Lenore.

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In "The Raven," how does the narrator respond to the noise he hears?

At first the narrator thinks it is a visitor rapping at his chamber door. Then when he opens the door and looks outside he feels frightened because he suspects that it was a ghost doing the rapping. In fact, he suspects it might have been the ghost of his dead loved one Lenore who was trying to gain admittance but gave up because he spent so much time in thought before responding. He calls the name "Lenore" into the darkness, but there is no response except an echo of his own spoken word "Lenore." He turns back into his chamber with "all my soul within me burning." He is frightened by the supernatural aspect of the event and also intrigued by the possibility that he might be able to become reunited with his deceased love. He is willing to be reunited with her even if she is a ghost, or even if he has to die in order to be with her once more.

Then he hears the tapping again. This time he realizes it is coming from his window. Once again he takes the more rational assumption that it is a human visitor who is tapping on the window for some reason rather than at the door. Perhaps the visitor got no response at the door so he or she went around to the window. The speaker flings the shutter open and sees that it is a raven that has been pecking there. The raven struts right inside and makes itself at home. This amuses the speaker, who tries to talk to it and who speculates about where it came from on such a stormy night. The only response he ever gets is the single word "Nevermore." No matter what he asks the bird, or what he entreats, or threatens, he continues to get the same response. "Nevermore" may be the bird's entire vocabulary, but to the narrator it comes to mean that there is no hope of ever being rejoined with Lenore in life or death. There is no balm in Gilead, no afterlife, no heaven, no resurrection. In the end the speaker is totally heartbroken and depressed. 

    And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;     And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,     And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor             Shall be lifted—nevermore!

The Raven is Poe's masterpiece. It had a profound influence on modern poetry by way of the French, especially Charles Baudelaire, who idolized Edgar Allan Poe and translated many of his works.

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In "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe, how does the speaker respond to the noise he hears?

At first, as the speaker hears the tapping on his door, he simply thinks it is a visitor, and he keeps reassuring himself that his surmise must be the case, suggesting he is worried the rapping is not simply an ordinary visitor. His response of repeating that it must be a visitor while hesitating to answer the tapping creates suspense and a sense of foreboding.

When he finally opens the door, no one is there. As he peers into the darkness, he can see nobody but hears a single word: "Lenore."

This shakes him up. He thinks now that it must be the sound of the wind—or so he tries to rationalize. Finally, he hears the tapping noise again and realizes it is not from the door, but the window. He opens the shutter and the raven flies in.

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In "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe, how does the speaker respond to the noise he hears?

If by "noise" you mean the rapping at his chamber door, initially the speaker ignores it, lost in thoughts of his lost Lenore. He eventually grows bold enough to answer it and opens the door - to find no one there at all.

A more careful read of the poem will help you understand the speaker and his actions a bit better.  Check the links below for more information on this great poem!

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How does the narrator respond in "The Raven" to his first encounter with the raven?

As Poe's poem begins, the despondent narrator, who has been delving into "quaint" volumes in his melancholy, is startled by a tapping at his door. Believing it to be nothing more than "some visitor entreating entrance," he rises, declaring that he was napping and did not hear the light tapping. Seeing no one, he peers into the darkness, whispering the name of his lost love: "Lenore?" Her name echoes in a similar whisper, and there is no other sound. After he returns to his room, the narrator hears a tapping at the shutter, so he flings it open, and with a fluttering of his wings, a raven walks in with the "mien of a lord or lady." Taken by the "grave and stern decorum" of the bird, the narrator alludes to Pluto, the Greek god of the Underworld, as he asks the bird's "lordly name"; the Raven merely says "Nevermore." This one word ("Nevermore") then becomes the refrain for the remainder of the poem, and the narrator begins to perceive the bird as rather ominous: "And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor / Shall be lifted—nevermore!"

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How does the narrator respond in "The Raven" to his first encounter with the raven?

The raven flies into the speaker's chamber in the 6th stanza; and he first responds to the raven in the 7th stanza.  In this stanza, the first line states, "Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling."  By this, the speaker means that at first the raven turns his sad, mournful face into a smile.  After this initial response, and still in the same stanza, his next response is to question who this raven is and why it came. 
After this first reaction, the speaker starts to see the raven in a different light; it becomes more evil than good. 

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In Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," how does the narrator respond to the noise he hears?

In Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven,” the narrator responds to his mysterious visitor by sinking into an ever-greater depth of despair.  Sitting alone in his study on the proverbial dark and stormy night, reading “a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,” the narrator is interrupted by a tapping on his door.  His initial reaction is to simply mutter “Tis some visitor . . . Only this and nothing more.”

As the poem progresses, additional information is provided, mainly that the narrator is lamenting the loss of a female about whom he apparently cared very deeply, specifically, “the lost Lenore . . . the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”  With some contemplation, he continues to listen to the tapping on his chamber door with increasing mystification, his imagination conjuring up images of dread (“fantastic terrors never felt before”) until at least he rises from his chair to peek out the door.  Convinced he hears the word “Lenore” whispered in his direction, repeats his lost female companion’s name, but receives no reply.  Finally opening his window and allowing in the large black bird that was responsible for the tapping, the narrator is at a loss as to the meaning or purpose of this intrusion.  Efforts at communicating with the bird prove fruitless, as the only response he receives is “Nevermore.” 

As “The Raven” continues, the narrator becomes increasingly exasperated with the uncommunicable bird and the mystery surrounding its appearance.  Unwilling to discount the possibility that the raven’s presence is somehow related to Lenore’s departure, the narrator continues to query the bird, his descent into madness become more apparent with each stanza.  Finally, he shouts in desperation:

“Prophet! Said I, “thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil! . . . On this home by Horror haunted – tell me truly, I implore!”  But he receives only the same reply: “Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore’.”

“The Raven” ends with the narrator an emotional wreck, the bird continuing to perch atop the bust of Pallas, Greek goddess of wisdom.  

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How does the narrator in "The Raven" respond to the noises he hears?

The first odd noise that the narrator hears is a knocking at his chamber door. It is odd because it is so late—midnight— and he was expecting no one. At first, the narrator is frightened by the sound, but then he bucks up and gets up to answer the door; however, when he opens it, there is no one there. He briefly wonders if it could be the ghost of his dead lover, Lenore, and he speaks her name, but there is no response.

After he closes the door, he hears a tapping at the window, and this time he assumes that it is only the wind. He goes to check, more bravely than he'd answered the door, and when he opens the shutter, the raven steps in.

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