The Face on the Milk Carton

by Caroline B. Cooney, Caroline Bruce

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Can anyone give me three quotes that demonstrate the writer's tone in The Face on the Milk Carton?

Expert Answers

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The author's intent is to create a suspenseful, foreboding tone in The Face on the Milk Carton. On the last three or so pages of Chapter 1, when Janie first recognizes her image on Sarah-Charlotte's milk carton, he writes,

"Something evil and thick settled on Janie, blocking her throat, dimming her eyes...she reached toward Sarah-Charlotte's sleeve but her hand didn't obey. It lay motionless on top of the carton. It looked like somebody else's hand."

As the realization of the potential implications of her find settle in on Janie's mind, she whispers to herself,

"It's me on there...",

and imagines

"...people losing their minds the way you might lose a penny, or your car keys - accidentally dropping your mind in the cafeteria."

The first chapter closes with the ominous words, italicized for effect,

"I was kidnapped."

The author continues establishing a tone of suspense in the beginning of Chapter 2, and describes how Janie is in turmoil -

"Inside, her mind spun. It was like having a color wheel for a brain. When it slowed down, things were separate, like primary colors: I have a mother and father...I have a childhood...I was not kidnapped...Kidnapping means bad people...I don't know any bad people...therefore I am making this up...But when her mind speeded up, the colors blended dizzily. That is me on there. I, Janie Johnson; I was kidnapped...But it could not be."
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