Tone and Mood
“Boy, watch your tone when speaking to me. ” • • Tone: The writer’s attitude towards the subject of the piece, the audience, and self. Also known as, the way feelings are expressed. Conveyed through the use of: – Diction (the words that the author uses in his/her writing) – Point of View (the author’s view and how it affects his/her writing) – Syntax (the arrangement of words to create sentences) – And, the author’s level of formality (how formal or informal is the piece? )
“Don’t you use that tone of voice with me!” • Has anyone ever said to you, "Don't use that tone of voice with me? " Your tone can change the meaning of what you say. • Tone can turn a statement like, " You're a big help!" into a genuine compliment or a cruel sarcastic remark. It depends on the context of the story.
Important Tone Words • • Accusatory: charging of wrong doing Bitter: exhibiting strong animosity as a result of pain or grief • Critical: finding fault • Earnest: intense, a sincere state of mind • Intimate: very familiar
Important Tone Words Continued Matter-of-fact: accepting of conditions; not fanciful or emotional Optimistic: hopeful, cheerful Reverent: treating a subject with honor and respect Reflective: illustrating innermost thoughts and emotions Sarcastic: sneering, caustic Sincere: without deceit or pretense; genuine Solemn: deeply earnest, tending toward sad reflection
“Girl, you’re in a mood!” • • Mood: emotion evoked by a text. Writers use many devices to create the mood in a text: – Dialogue (language between the characters) – Setting (where/when the story takes place, who the characters are, etc. ) – Plot (the rise and fall of action and events throughout the piece)
Important Mood Words • The following are examples of moods that a text can cause the reader to feel: – Suspense - Suspicious – Lonely - Excited – Happy - Depressed Angry - Scared – – Anxious – Tense - Disgusted
Tone vs. Mood • • These two words are easy to get confused when reading a text. Look at the following Venn Diagram (and fill out your own for your notes) to understand how mood and tone are different.
Tone vs. Mood Venn Diagram Mood Tone Similarities • • • Tone is the attitude that an author takes toward the audience, the subject, or the character. Tone is conveyed through the author's words and details. Use context clues to help determine the tone. Author sets the tone through words. Possible tones are as numerous as the number of possible emotions a human being can have. • • Conveyed by an emotion or emotions through words The way a reader feels about a piece (the reader’s mood) can be determined through facial expressions, gestures and in the tone (the way the author expresses his/her feelings throughout the piece) of voice used. • • Emotions that you (the reader) feel while you are reading a piece. Some pieces of literature make you feel sad, angry or happy. Often, a writer creates the mood at the beginning of a piece and then carries that same mood throughout the whole piece. • SOMETIMES the mood will change as characters or plot changes.
BEWARE!! • • • Tone and mood can very easily be confused! Tone simply refers to how the author feels towards the subject, or towards something. You will know what the author’s tone is implying by the words he uses. While ‘mood’ refers to the feeling of the atmosphere the author is describing. It is what the author makes you feel when you read his writings. You can read a sentence, and feel sad, happy or angry.
TONE IS NOT MOOD Tone Mood The tone could be serious but the mood could be ridiculous.
FOR EXAMPLE: TONE He approached the task with sheer determination. He had studied his plans carefully, spent hours preparing and was sure of his approach. The hours he spent practicing were grueling and exhausting but he was ready. This was the year he would win the pie eating contest at school. According to the author’s descriptions, what is the tone? Serious, Intense, Formal, Focused
MOOD FOR EXAMPLE: He approached the task with sheer determination. He had studied his plans carefully, spent hours preparing and was sure of his approach. The hours he spent practicing were grueling and exhausting but he was ready. This was the year he would win the pie eating contest at school. According to the setting, what is the mood? Playful, informal, silly, exciting
Examples of Tone • I’d rather stay here and wait, than go into that dark room. – • The sun is shining brightly in the meadow, let’s go out and play! – • The sentence above imposes that the person is scared. The sentence above imposes that the person is happy or excited. I called my friend at their house and her brother said she’s not home, but I heard her voice come over the line. – The sentence imposes that the person is suspicious.
Examples of Mood • The night was dark and stormy. – • The man kicked and threw the poor cat out of his house. – • The sentence gives you a scary ‘mood’ (or feeling). The sentence gives you a feeling of anger, or pity towards the cat. There was plenty of food, and the music was playing. Everybody was having a good time. – The sentence gives you a mood (or feeling) of happiness and fun.
You Try! On the following slides identify the author’s tone or the reader’s mood and explain how you knew. Remember: Tone is determined by DESCRIPTION or DIALOGUE Mood is determined by SETTING or ATMOSPHERE
The MOOD of the passage is _______ The _______ relays the MOOD. The night it happened was one we will never forget. The wind was screeching outside as rain pounded against the window. We had lost electricity hours ago and had nothing but candles to light the house. The battery powered radio we had was broadcasting a warning to lock your doors and stay inside; there was a killer on the loose.
The MOOD of the passage is SCARY/SUSPENSEFUL The ATMOSPHERE/SETTING relays the MOOD. The night it happened was one we will never forget. The wind was screeching outside as rain pounded against the window. We had lost electricity hours ago and had nothing but candles to light the house. The battery powered radio we had was broadcasting a warning to lock your doors and stay inside; there was a killer on the loose.
The TONE of the passage is ______. The _________ relays the TONE. “Would you be so kind as to help me with my groceries? ” asked the elderly woman. “Not a problem ma’am, ” replied the young man, “I would be happy to help. ”
The TONE of the passage is POLITE. The DIALOGUE relays the TONE. “Would you be so kind as to help me with my groceries? ” asked the elderly woman. “Not a problem ma’am, ” replied the young man, “I would be happy to help. ”