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What is the tone, mood, and style of Chapter 11 in the book The Invisible Man by H.G....

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sweetlove | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 13, 2009 at 12:54 PM via web

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What is the tone, mood, and style of Chapter 11 in the book The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells?

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K.P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted December 14, 2009 at 2:41 AM (Answer #1)

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In Chapter 11 of The Invisible Man by H/G. Wells, the tone, mood and style are much the same as they are originally established to be on page one of Chapter one. From the first there is a tone of intensity with sympathy to the hero that is mixed with open commentary on characters' behavior, be it good behavior ("resolved to show herself worthy") or poor behavior ("a couple of sovereigns flung on the table"). This lends the narrator an opportunity to add a tone of humor by gently laughing at the foibles of characters as these foibles turn up ("brisked up a bit by a few deftly chosen expressions of contempt..."). The mood is established as distant and isolated (walking in the snow in February from the railroad station) yet not without caring, concern and compassion ("guest parlor," "lit a fire," a guest "at Iping in winter-time was an unheard of piece of luck"). The style combines the formality of an educated and observant individual with the detailed report of a confidant.

In Chapter 11, the tone adds hurry and ominousness and a threatening quality to the previously established tone of intensity: Hurried (short sentences, "Now...,"); intensity as from page one ("precisely", seriously," "strange occurrences..." etc); ominousness ("Suddenly he became aware of a strange feeling at the nape of his neck..."); threatening ("presenting the poker to the tip of the noses of each of his visitors..."). Despite this, Wells preserves the sense of humor that also pervades from page one, for example the image of the Vicar fumbling with his glasses rather than confess he doesn't read Greek. The mood of Chapter 11 is threatening in accord with the setting, objects, details and vocabulary: poker, invading private property, a man's private lodging room, missing clothing, intruders who say unintelligible things ("Stand clear!"), threatening words ("I could kill you both and get away..."). And the style continues that was established at the start: a combination of formality with the familiarity of a confident. The vocabulary and syntax is of an educated person, which lends formality, but no details are spared or kept at a reserved distance, therefore the formal narrator is speaking as a confidant.

[Note: Tone is the narrator's attitude, or tone of voice, toward the story or characters or subject matter and is established through vocabulary (language) alone. Mood is the overall feeling of a text and is established through objects, setting, details, and vocabulary, all of these together. Style is the manner of expression, the kind of vocabulary, chosen by the author for the text, for example the elevated style of poetry by Spenser or Skakespeare versus the "common" style of Romantic poets versus the colloquial style of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn.]

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