In literature, “tone” refers to the attitude or emotional disposition of the writer or narrator towards the subject matter or the audience. It is the way the writer conveys their feelings, emotions, and opinions through their writing. Tone is an essential element of literary works as it helps create the overall atmosphere and mood of the text, influencing how readers perceive and interpret the content.
Tone can be conveyed through various literary devices, such as word choice, imagery, syntax (sentence structure), and figurative language. Different tones evoke different emotional responses from the readers and can range from serious, formal, and solemn to humorous, lighthearted, and sarcastic, among many others.
Read also: Diction in poetry
Examples of tone in literature:
Example 1 (Joyful Tone): “The sun shines bright, the day is clear, With laughter, we have naught to fear, In fields of green and skies so blue, Our hearts, like birds, take flight anew.”
Example 2 (Melancholic Tone): “Raindrops fall on the windowpane, A lonesome soul, lost in the rain, The world outside seems cold and gray, As tears of sorrow mark the day.”
In these examples, the first poem has a joyful tone, evoking happiness and optimism, while the second poem has a melancholic tone, evoking sadness and a sense of loneliness. Both examples use different language and imagery to create their respective emotional effects.