Tone (literature)

Tone (literature)

Tone is a literary technique, that is a part of composition, that encompasses the attitudes toward the subject and toward the audience implied in a literary work. Tone may be formal, informal, intimate, solemn, somber, playful, serious, ironic, condescending, or many other possible attitudes. [ [ Words to Describe Tone] List of words that describe tone, Accessed 23 Jan 2008]


The tone of a piece of work can be found in many ways. Without tone, a piece of literature would evoke no emotion, and would likely be an official document, and may seem very dull.

In many cases, the tone of a piece of work may change or evolve. Elements of tone include diction, or word choice; syntax, the grammatical arrangement of words in a text for effect; imagery, or vivid appeals to the senses; details, facts that are included or omitted; Extended Metaphor, language that compares seemingly unrelated things throughout the composition. [ [ Tone (literature)] Short Encyclopedia Article about tone in literature, by "Helicon Publishing" section of "Research Machines plc", Accessed on 23 Jan 2008]

Tone is an element used frequently in poetry to convey feeling and emotion, and set the mood for the work. It is important to note that tone and mood are not the same thing.

Tonal scale

There is also such a thing known as a tonal scale which arranges tones from depressed to overjoyed. The scale can include a variety of types of ironic tones. When writing a paper, tone is very important to identify in order to decide the author's mood and attitude towards the subject. In general, tonal scales verbalize the words that one, as a person, cannot think of.


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