What is the tone in a segment of the raven

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In the poem The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe in the 11th stanza I am confused as to what the message is meant to be. The segment "Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burder bore" is what confused me. What is meant by this passage, the bit about followed fast and followed faster is what is confusing to me. I am doing this piece for a forensics tournament and in order to do it I need to know the correct tone. If you could offer any suggestions it would be a great help. Thanks!

-- Anonymous, February 10, 2003


I think that the narrator is supposing that the raven learned its one word vocabulary (NEVERMORE) from a previous master whose life was filled with disaster after disaster until the theme of that master's life were reflected by that one word. Remember, the entire poem is the story of one who is filled with sorrow due to the loss of a great love (LENORE). This narrator has not reached the stage in the grieving process to come out of his depression. Instead, he prefers to wallow in dispair, posing inquiries to the raven whose only response can be Nevermore. He uses this one word learned response to reinforce his grief.

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2003

A logical supposition becomes a brooding flight of imagination to match the narrator's own life and current mood. That the bird had been taught by someone repeating the word from a series of disasters which must have been frequent for the mnemonic lesson.

-- Anonymous, February 12, 2003

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