Homework Help

How are style and tone of the narrator's voice different from those of the characters?  

user profile pic

jomama04 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 11, 2011 at 9:25 PM via web

dislike 1 like

How are style and tone of the narrator's voice different from those of the characters?

 

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 14, 2011 at 11:49 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

In general, the style of the writer is found in his or her diction
(word choice) and syntax (word order). This often reveals the author's tone or feelings toward his/her subject. Style is known as the author's "verbal identity." For instance, in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain's style can be found in the character of a young, uneducated boy who has survived an abusive, alcoholic father, life without a mother, and the tribulations of being "sivilized," while still remaining a decent person. Twain's tone comes through in what Huck has to say. Ironically, Huck believes that helping a runaway slave gain his freedom in the deep South is a bad thing because society teaches him this. Because he has come to love Jim, Huck thinks that he is a really bad person by helping Jim (the slave). He declares that good or bad, he will continue to help and says,

All right, then, I'll go to hell.

Twain uses Huck to convey Twain's own thoughts on the immorality of owning slaves.

In terms of the narrator's voice and the characters' voice, the characters will speak to provide information about themselves and others, and to move the plot along. The author obviously manipulates his characters to converse in a manner that feeds the plot, but sometimes the characters will not tell you exactly how the author feels, but you—as the reader—must search for meaning in the clues the author has the character's plant in what they say and how they act. In other words, sometimes the author's feelings are implied, but not openly conveyed. It is in this way that a difference can be seen between the true feelings of the author toward his subject, and what the characters actually say.


Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes