Custom «Tone» Essay Paper Sample
Table of Contents
1. What is tone?
Tone in literature is a technique that is seen as part of the composition which includes the authors attitude toward a subject and the audience as shown in the literary work. Tone can be said to be ironic, formal, playful, informal, intimate, solemn, serious or somber among the many other possible attitudes.
2. What textual clues can you use to discover the author's tone?
An authors tone can be seen in various textual clues which include diction which is the choice of words; syntax which is the grammatical arrangement of words for a certain effect in a text; imagery which are the various vivid appeal to ones senses; extended metaphors which is the language used to compare unrelated things all through the composition and finally the facts and details that have been included and those omitted.
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3. Do you think the woman at the end of "Hills Like White Elephants" really "feels fine?" (543). Why or why not?
The woman in the Hills like white elephants does not feel fine this is seen by the anxiety in her due to the fact that she is to undergo a certain operation that she is scared about. This is shown by the various textual evidences where she states that she is going to "... do it. because I don't care about me" Showing that she is uncomfortable with the whole idea. Further on in the text she gets angry and says that "Can't we maybe stop talking" because the topic makes her uncomfortable. Finally the last line "I feel fine, she said. There's nothing wrong with me. I feel fine" Shows that she is bothered by the matter and is only accepting just to stop the man from disturbing her.
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4. Many people have thought that Hemingway's couple is fighting about an abortion. Find one textual clue that would support this interpretation.
This is seen by the way the author includes certain facts and leaves others. For in the text the man talks about a certain operation that the woman is supposed to undergo but does not name it directly. This operations description gives a conclusion of an abortion.
5. If this interpretation is correct, how is it supported by the TONE of the story?
The tone of the story is intimate in that the conversation is all about two people who are shown in the text to be lovers. And they are talking about a something that interferes with their normal happy life they talk of the way they enjoy their lives and the man shows care and emotions towards the woman and they don't mention the abortion directly but just as a matter concerning the two of them.
6. What has become of Homer Barron at the end of Faulkner's story? What secret is hinted at?
Homer Barron is found to have died so many years ago and his body has already decomposed in the a bed and all the clothes that had been bought for him by Miss Emily. The secret hinted is that Miss Emily has most likely been sleeping next to the dead and decomposed body of Homer Barron seen by the fact that the second pillow that was next to the body has an indentation of her head. And to confirm this fact a long strand hair that is similar to Miss Emily is picked there.
7. Southern Gothics like Faulkner are said to have a macabre or creepy tone. Find a couple of examples in his story of how this macabre tone is created. Quote for support.
William Faulkner gives the story a macabre tone by the use of imagery to create creepy scenes that describe firstly the house of Miss Emily "It was a big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street. But garages and cotton gins had encroached and obliterated even the august names of that neighborhood; only Miss Emily's house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps-an eyesore among eyesores." The manner the author also describes Miss emilys lonely lifestyle and more especially when it come to her appearance that "a small, fat woman in black, with a thin gold chain descending to her waist and vanishing into her belt, leaning on an ebony cane with a tarnished gold head. Her skeleton was small and spare; perhaps that was why what would have been merely plumpness in another was obesity in her. She looked bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water, and of that pallid hue. Her eyes, lost in the fatty ridges of her face, looked like two small pieces of coal pressed into a lump of dough as they moved from one face to another". These descriptions give a creepy tone of the story.
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8. O'Connor uses quite a bit of irony in her story "Everything that Rises Must Converge." Give two examples of ironic events in the plot of her story.
One ironic event is seen by the fact that the son Julian seems to really not care about his mother but when at the end of the story she falls down and is about to die he is very concerned and even goes to a great extent to look for help by really screaming even though there is nobody in the near vicinity to assist his mother. The second ironic event is the way while in the bus and all the passengers find that they are al white they are proud and happy because they don't consider themselves to be at the same level as the blacks yet they are also poor just like those blacks that they tend to despise greatly.
9. What if anything do these two stories set in the Southern United states have in common?
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The two stories at some point contain an tone of macabre. In Faulkner's story he uses imagery to describe Miss Emily's lifestyle, house and bodily features as creepy in their own nature. While on the other hand O'Connor also uses imagery to describe the neighborhood and lifestyle that Julian and his mother lived in as a place for the poor and quite dangerous, another similarity is the association of the black people with slavery and servant hood. Miss Emily has a black servant while Julian's mother keeps referring to the black servants that her uncle used to have.
10. In Crane's story, what finally saves the men at sea? How does this fit into his overall idea of naturalism?
When the boat that they were travelling in finally capsized the four men had to swim to the shore, but they were very tired what saved them were the small waves in the water that kept pushing the swimmers just as the correspondent described that "A large wave caught him and flung him with ease and supreme speed completely over the boat and far beyond it" and also " But later a wave perhaps whirled him out of this small, deadly current" and a man came to their rescue at sea as they approached land. This fact truly supports the naturalism that humans are not able to control their fate especially in matters of natural forces.
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11. What tone does Crane create? Explain and support with a quote.
Crane creates an ironic tone through the story in the way many things occur a good example being that the ship that sank was quite new but it ended up capsizing. Another good example is in the fact that the oiler who was the strongest swimmier was the one who died yet the captain who was injured and used only one arm arrived safely.
In the short story Everything That Rises Must Converge that is written by Flannery O'Connor. The author passes on the message of equality among the different types of people in the world. He shows that the black people and white people are equal and face the same challenges of poverty in a similar manner and they therefore should be treated by the white people as equals and not as being lower to them in status. The author uses an ironic tone to give the various similarities between the black and the white she shows this irony by the use of imagery. In the text Julian's mother thinks that by wearing a certain hat "... a hideous hat A purple velvet flap came down on one side of it and mood up on the other; the rest of it was green and looked like a cushion with the stuffing out" she would look better off . she is surprised to find a black woman who entered the bus she was traveling in also had a similar hat that her son commented "it looked better on her than it did on you". From this tone the author shows that the blacks are same and wear the same type of clothing and therefore should be treated equally.
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In the short story A rose for Emily that is written by William Faulkner, the author tries to pass the message on the importance of human beings being social and friendly to one another. This is seen by the fact that Miss Emily led a solitary life and did not mingle with people making her not get married and died living an enclosed life with the remains of her former and only love in the world. The author uses a macabre tone through the story. He uses literary devises like imagery when it comes to various descriptions for example the case of Miss Emily "a small, fat woman in black, with a thin gold chain descending to her waist and vanishing into her belt,. Her skeleton was small and spare; perhaps that was why what would have been merely plumpness in another was obesity in her. She looked bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water, and of that pallid hue. Her eyes, lost in the fatty ridges of her face, looked like two small pieces of coal pressed into a lump of dough as they moved from one face to another" the vocabulary also used in the text creates this tone a good example being in the case of "confusing time with its mathematical progression" to express the passage of time. The tone that the author uses in the story expresses how weird loneliness can be in a human's life and therefore the need for socialization and friendliness to other human beings.
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In the short story The Open Boat that was written by Stephen Crane's. The author passes on the message of how human being cannot control all the doings of nature. This is shown by the fact that there are four people who are trapped in the sea and are not able to find reach land and how at the end its only nature that favors their survival and the death of one of them. The author's tone is ironic. This is because many activities that occur in the event are not what one would normally expect a simple example being the drowning of the oiler who was the strongest swimmer while the survival of the captain who only used one hand when swimming. The author uses imagery to give this tone for example in the case of the waves "The waves came without snarling" and also when describing the vessel "The craft pranced and reared, and plunged like an animal" the sentence structure also creates the ironic tone as is the case of the short conversations that the four men share for example "Funny they haven't seen us.". This tone helps in showing the strength of natural forces and how human beings are at its mercy.
In the short story Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway. The author tries to pass the message of individual responsibility. This is shown by the way the young girl is worried about the one she is to undergo even though the man tries to reassure her that he will be by her side when the operation is being conducted and giving her the option of quitting. The authors tone is intimate. Seen by the use of affectionate language between the man and the woman And also by the fact that the author does not give or mention the word abortion In the text but hints it in order not to distort the intimate conversations between the couple. The sentence structure of the conversation show this intimacy for example where the girl says "I'll love it. I love it now but I just can't think about it. You know how I get when I worry." There is also the use of imagery when describing the two hills." They look like white elephants". The intimate tone helps pas the message that one is responsible individually for all actions that one does.