Tone and Mood
“Boy, watch your tone when speaking to me”
Tone: Thewriter’sattitude towards the subject of the piece, the audience, and self. Also known as, thewayfeelings 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: chargingof wrongdoingBitter: exhibitingstrong animosity as a result of pain orgriefCritical: finding faultEarnest: intense, a sincere state ofmindIntimate: very familiarMatter-of-fact: acceptingof conditions; not fanciful oremotionalOptimistic: hopeful,cheerfulReverent: treatinga subject with honor andrespectReflective: illustratinginnermost thoughts andemotionsSarcastic:sneering,causticSincere: withoutdeceit or pretense;genuineSolemn: deeplyearnest, 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:SuspenseLonelyHappyAngryAnxiousTenseSuspiciousExcitedDepressedScaredDisgusted
Tone vs. Mood
These two words areeasyto get confused when reading a text.Look at the following Venn Diagram (and fill out your own that is on your notes sheet) to understand how mood and tone are different.
Tone vs. Mood Venn Diagram
Conveyed by an emotion or emotions through wordsThe way a reader feels about a piece (the reader’s mood) can be determined through facial expressions, gestures and in thetone(the way the author expresses his/her feelings throughout the piece) of voice used.
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.Usecontext clues to help determine the tone.Authorsets the tone through words.Possibletones are asnumerousas the number of possible emotions a human being can have.
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.
Tone and mood can very easily be confused!Tonesimply refers to how the author feels towards the subject, or towards something. You will know what the author’s tone is implying by thewordshe uses.While ‘mood’, refers to the feeling of theatmospherethe author is describing. It is what the authormakes you feelwhen you read his writings. You can read a sentence, and feel sad, happy or angry.
Examples of Tone
I’d rather stay here and wait, than go intothatdark room.Thesentence above imposes that the person is scared.The sun is shining brightly in the meadow, let’s go out and play!The sentence above imposes that the person is happy or excited.Icalled my friend at their house, her brother said she’s not home,but I heard hervoice come over the line.Thesentence imposes that the person is suspicious.
Examples of Mood
Thenight was dark and stormy.The sentence gives you a scary ‘mood’ (or feeling).Theman kicked and threw the poor cat out of his house.The sentence gives you a feeling of anger, or pity towards the cat.Therewas plenty of food, and the music was playing. Everybody was having a good time.The sentence gives you a mood(or feeling) ofhappiness and fun.