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TS Eliot- Tone Analysis

TS Eliot- Tone Analysis - English HL 2 IB 11 November 2009...

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English HL 2 IB 11 November 2009 Title: “Portrait of a Lady” Year Published: 1910 Theme: There is an uncertainty of how to live one’s life until it becomes too late. Two separate but distinct tones: The author has both a tone of sadness, and a trusting tone. Two styles that elements and each one’s role in creating tone: Sadness 1. The tone of sadness is first seen when the writer says in line 66, “Only the friendship and the sympathy of one about to reach her journey’s end.” All that the old woman wants from this boy is a friendship and the ability to pass on her knowledge of life. She is aware that her life is coming to an end. 2. The description of the young man’s smile falling “heavily among the bric--brac” in line 92 illustrates the tone of sadness because he constantly remembers the old woman and he cannot keep his smile on any longer because his sorrow and guilt is clearing it. He knows that he has not been a true friend to her and his sadness is overpowering his emotions. Trusting 3. The repetition of the words “friend” and “friendship” throughout lines 19-28 reinforces the trusting tone because the old lady wants the young man to confide in her and rely on her while building their relationship. She wants to make him feel comfortable and get him to understand that all she is looking for is a friend and someone she can help.
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4. The trusting tone carries on through the season change into August when the old woman tells the young man in lines 59 and 60, “‘I am always sure that you understand my feelings, always sure that you feel, sure that across the gulf you reach your hand.’” The old woman trusts that although the young man is still naïve, he will be there for her when she needs him and will cherish their time together. Title: “Silence” Year Published: 1910
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Theme: Everyone must make their own decisions in life and hold responsibility for their beliefs and actions. Two separate but distinct tones: The author has both a tone of fear, and a tone of wisdom. Two styles that elements and each one’s role in creating tone: Fear 1. The tone of fear is incorporated in the end of the first stanza, saying, “This the hour for which we waited- This is the ultimate hour.” Everything that is done in life will be of great importance in the final decision after death regarding the placement of one’s soul. There is a fear that people attach to this moment of judgment because they know how they have sinned and ignored their faith. 2. The writer’s use of diction used throughout the second stanza in “broad” “deep” “steep” and “terrified” also portray a fearful tone. These adjectives all describe an unknown feeling or place that could be dangerous. These words give the reader an unsettling feeling much like the one that the writer feels when he says that “at such peace I am terrified.” When people are content with their decisions and faith and no longer searching for better, he feels fearful of their emptiness.
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