1 Answer | Add Yours
A good question. You are correct that the tone shifts at times. In the preface, for example, there is more of a direct appeal, almost as if Twain were marketing his book to potential readers. After that, the approach shifts. However, a few qualities run through the book, and so I'd say the tone is one of affectionate distance, which could also be called gentle irony. Take a look at this early passage:
"The old lady pulled her spectacles down and looked over them about the room; then she put them up and looked out under them. She seldom or never looked through them for so small a thing as a boy; they were her state pair, the pride of her heart, and were built for “style,” not service—she could have seen through a pair of stove-lids just as well."
The level of detail shows affection, as does the "pride of her heart" line, but Twain is gently mocking the woman, and through her, all people.
We’ve answered 318,969 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question