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What is the tone of the short story " The Scarlet Ibis"? Why?

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liviebivie | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 2, 2008 at 12:37 PM via web

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What is the tone of the short story " The Scarlet Ibis"? Why?

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clane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted March 2, 2008 at 2:15 PM (Answer #1)

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The tone of the story is regretful and reminiscent. Remember that the tone of piece of literature is the attitude that an author takes toward a subject or the audience. The narrator, Doodle's brother, is writing the story about his brother in the past tense after he is grown. The opening paragraph is the true voice of the narrator as the adult. The language and vocabulary is that of an adult, it is very poetic in nature. His tone at the beginning of the story and much of it throughout is reminiscent, he is remembering his younger brother and the time he spent with him. His voice shifts as his memories slip into childhood and his voice and language become more like that of a child. His tone takes on a regretful quality to it because he feel guilty for the way he treated his little brother. He recalls incidents when he was cruel to Doodle and he feels bad because he had no idea that the time with his brother was so limited.

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tsweem | High School Teacher | Salutatorian

Posted March 3, 2008 at 2:36 AM (Answer #2)

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The tone of the story is regret and remorse.  The narrator has borne the burden of guilt for the death of his little brother for many years. We see this most poignantly in the final scene as he cradles his brother's dead body in his arms and sobs.

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