Tone describes the way the author seems to feel about the subject of the text. The tone of this text seems somewhat indifferent, or emotionless. The narrator describes a pretty violent and terrifying event—a young boy loses his hand to a saw (an injury from which the boy later dies)—in an economical and even indifferent way:
At the word ["supper"], the saw,
As if to prove saws knew what supper meant,
Leaped out at the boy's hand, or seemed to leap—
He must have given the hand. However it was,
Neither refused the meeting.
Such a description, where the saw and the hand are personified as accepting a meeting with one another, makes the event seem almost civilized. The narrator does not express any horror at the event, though he "wish[es] they might have" given the boy the rest of the night off so that it could have been avoided. However, given the name of the poem, "Out, Out—"— an allusion to a line from Shakespeare's Macbeth —the tone also conveys a sense of the inevitability of...
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