If we tried counting contractions for the entire articles from which these paragraphs are taken, we would discover that there is only one contraction a in Wilson's article and there are twenty contractions in Castleman's, even though Wilson's article is considerably longer. How do these contractions, or the lack of them, affect your sense of the seriousness of the essays? Visit the web-sites of other well known magazines. (Click for a list of hyperlinks.) Find examples of clearly definable tones that seem consistent throughout an online publication. Test the contraction-count theory and see if it supports your sense of formal versus informal.
consider the metaphorical statement, "Susan is a viper in her cruel treacheries." Here, Susan is the tenor in the metaphor, and viper is the vehicle in the same metaphor. The tenor, Susan, is literally present or literally exists. The vehicle, the hypothetical or imagined viper, is not necessarily physically present.
is different from your behavior while hanging out in the back yard with friends, or at least we hope it is. And part of that difference is the difference in language, a difference not just in the words we use but in what we call . We also recall being told, when we were very young, not to "use that tone of voice with me, Mister (or Missy, as the case may be)!" Just as the pitch and volume of one's voice carry a difference in tone from street to church, the choice of words and the way we put our sentences together convey a sense of tone in our writing. The tone, in turn, conveys our attitude toward our audience and our subject matter. Are we being frivolous or serious, casual or formal, sweet or stuffy? The choice of a single word can change the tone of a paragraph, even an entire essay. In the first sentence of this paragraph, for example, the phrasal verb "hanging out" is considerably more casual than others we might have chosen: gathering, congregating, assembling.
We often consider the tone that we’re using when we speak to others, but we sometimes forget that our tone—our attitude towards the topic and/or reader—can also be pretty obvious when we write.
To understand the effect that tone can have on your writing, consider what might happen if we attempted to convey the same piece of information using these types of tone:
There are both parallels and disagreements between these writer's tones. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote to inspire and to change the thought process of the everyday man, in hopes that society would improve.
It is always how to write truly and having found what is true, to project it in such a way that it becomes a part of the experience of the person who reads it." The attitude and "projection" with which the author creates a story is the tone.
MYTHOPOEIA (Greek "myth-making" or "myth-poetry"): (1) J. R. R. Tolkien's neologism for the deliberate creation of artificial , especially the incorporation of traditional mythic into current fiction, whether that fiction be something akin to Virgil's propaganda in The Aeneid, the Romantic poetry of William Blake, or the fantasy literature of C.S. Lewis or Tolkien himself. Tolkien connected mythopoeia with his theological doctrine of (q.v.) (2) Tolkien's poem of the same title, which he wrote in response to an argument he and the other Inklings had regarding C.S. Lewis' atheism shortly after September 19, 1931. C.S. Lewis initially felt he could not believe in a literal resurrection of Christ because the narrative pattern in the Gospels echoed much older myths about sacrificial dying gods, as detailed at length in Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough. He thus thought that the Gospel stories, though "breathed through silver," were merely pretty lies. Tolkien's counter-argument was that, even though much older versions of the story existed before the time of Christ, that did not matter. Tolkien argued that, what God did in the incarnation and crucifixion was to take the older stories and make them literally true. Our older myths expressed man's deepest longest for redemption and resurrection, and that God chose to fulfill those ancient desires by giving Christ to humanity--and thus the older myth could be made flesh and walk among us.
Tone is the narrator’s predominant attitude toward the subject, whether that subject is a place, event, character or idea” (Writing Essays about Literature, Kelley Griffith page 46).
In Krapp’s Last Tape, Samuel Beckett uses imagery and tone as the most prominent literary tools to compare and discuss reflecting on the past versus living in the present.
MOTIF OF THE HIDDEN KING: A common motif in folklore in which the rightful king of a nation is absent or hidden away, but will one day be revealed and then triumphantly reclaim rule over his kingdom, ushering in a golden age. Examples in Arthurian literature include King Arthur, who is first hidden when Merlin spirits him away from Uther Pendragon while Arthur is an infant but later revealed as the true ruler when he draws the sword from the stone. Additionally, at the end of his life, when King Arthur is wounded in the fight with Mordred, he sails away to Avalon in the West, but prophecy asserts he will return from Faerie to rule Britain again in the hour of the island's greatest need. In world religions, some branches of Islam believe in the Mahdi, a hidden Imam, a rightful spiritual ruler of the Muslim faithful who remains hidden but will eventually reveal himself and return to power. Some Tolkien scholars identify Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings as another example of the motif. As Helen Armstrong notes:
However, most striking, is the change of mood of the literature from that of optimism and expansion of the 19th century, to that of early 20th century's "pessimism, sadness, and gravity" (Agatucci, 2001)....