Presentation on theme: "Tone and Mood. What is the difference: TONE is the emotion or attitude towards the subject which the author feels and tries to express through his/her."— Presentation transcript:
Tone and Mood
What is the difference: TONE is the emotion or attitude towards the subject which the author feels and tries to express through his/her writing. MOOD (dominant impression) is the feeling an alert, intelligent, educated, sensitive reader feels when he/she reads the writing.
Once you determine the tone: Ask yourself HOW the author has communicated it to you. This will entail looking for specific techniques. In general, these can be grouped as: DICTION= anything having to do with word choices, such as connotation, sensory language, onomatopoeia, repetition, "strong" verbs or adjectives SYNTAX= sentence structure and its manipulation, such as parallel structure, ellipsis, transitions, sentence levels, modals & tense NARRATIVE STANCE in its more general sense, including Point of View, Persona, grammatical mood -- first or third person, fixed or moving, involved or detached, subjective or objective, personality traits, attitude In fiction and some essays, it is important to distinguish between the Narrator's STANCE, the character's point of view and sometimes even the author's stance as separate from the narrator persona. Another aspect of Point of View is what is called Split Point of View -- this occurs when the narrator is talking about the past and gives the reader BOTH what s/he thought & felt THEN and what s/he thinks & feels about it NOW
Once you determine tone: Ask yourself HOW the author has communicated it to you. This will entail looking for specific techniques. In general, these can be grouped as: SELECTION OF DETAILS -- Often what an author chooses to leave out is as important as what s/he emphasizes. Be aware of information the reader might expect to find in a discussion of the subject that is not included. Also, take note of anything that seems out of place (incongruous) or unduly emphasized. If you find a lot of incongruities or unexpected emphasis or omission, you may have an ironic tone. IMAGERY= any comparisons, such as simile, metaphor, personification, onomatopoeia
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: 1.WORD CHOICES, especially in terms of the emotional overtones or connotations of words and phrases. 2. REPETITIONS of words, phrases, details, etc. --if the author calls your attention to something by referring to it or using it more than once, it's probably important and possibly symbolic or connotative. 3. ELABORATIONS of descriptions, scenes, etc. -- if the author spends a lot of time/space on something, s/he probably considers it important to his/her meaning. 4. INCONGRUITIES of details, images, word choice, level of language, connotations, roles or juxtapositions – anything that "doesn't seem to fit" should be looked at VERY CAREFULLY before being dismissed as a mistake. One popular form and effect of incongruity is IRONY, the deliberate reversal of the reader's expectations.
What to look for con’t: 5. OMISSIONS of material that seemingly should be there -- often what a writer doesn't say is as revealing as what is there. 6. PATTERNS of imagery, connotations, details -- even when things are not exactly repeated, you can find similarities (lots of images taken from nature, for example) that may add up to an overall impression 7. ALLUSIONS: the 3 greatest sources of allusion in Western literature are Shakespeare, the Bible and Greek/Roman mythology. – Many of these have become standard symbols (ARCHETYPES) and, as such, have standard connotations, which the author expects the reader to "catch". Obviously, if you are not familiar with the sources, as may not be, you may miss these; however, that's not the writer's fault.
ALWAYS EXPECT TO FIND CONNOTATIONS!
Next: Once you have identified specific examples of techniques, you need to GENERALIZE. That is, look for patterns: What techniques does this author seem to favor? What can you say about HOW s/he uses a particular technique? Do all or most of the examples of a technique have anything in common? Do multiple techniques contribute to a single effect? NOTE: This is a VITAL step in analysis. If you cannot generalize, you will not have an analysis, just a heap of meaningless facts.
The KEY: The KEY question ALWAYS is: "What is the persona's (or character's or author's, depending on the question) attitude and how did s/he express it (or fail to)?” That is: What did the author want to communicate to the reader? How did s/he use language to effect and affect the communication? If s/he was successful, why? If s/he was not successful, why not? A second important question is: HOW does the tone contribute to achieving the purpose?
When you are writing a response: In an analysis essay, your Thesis Statement should address these key questions. Your Body Paragraphs should discuss the HOW and WHY, using your generalizations as points and specific examples as supports. Your Conclusion should state in general WHY the author succeeded or failed.