Identify the tone in chapters 1–4 of Heart of Aztlan.

In chapter 1 of Heart of Aztlan, there is a rather lazy, relaxed tone. You might also talk about the frustrated tone of Benjie's dad in that chapter. In chapter 2, you could discuss the urgent tone of settling down or the distressing tone of the death. In chapter 3, you could bring up the dysfunctional tone of the family dinner. In chapter 4, you could say something about the sexist tone of Jason's "gang."

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Before we get into the tone of the first 4 chapters of Heart of Aztlán, we should ask: What does tone mean? We might think we know what it means, but let's actually say what it means.

When we say tone, we generally refer to the general attitude or...

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Before we get into the tone of the first 4 chapters of Heart of Aztlán, we should ask: What does tone mean? We might think we know what it means, but let's actually say what it means.

When we say tone, we generally refer to the general attitude or feature of something. For example, if we speak to our teacher in a rude or sassy way, our teacher may tell us: "I don't like your tone." What are they saying? They don't like the attitude or features of our voice. Maybe if we spoke with a nicer attitude and with kinder features, they wouldn't scold our tone.

Now, on to the tone of chapter 1.

Right away, we notice a kind of nonchalant or relaxed tone. We start with Benjie admiring his cigarette. Not much is happening. What makes for the idle, leisurely tone? Perhaps it's because the big choice has already been made. Benjie and his family are moving. They're leaving Guadalupe.

Later on in chapter 1, we notice a tone of frustration and regret. That has to do with Clemente. He feels like there's something he could have done to keep the farm. His wife has to tell him, "You did not fail us."

We might also mention a tone of suspense or excitement. After all, they are moving to a new place. Regardless of the circumstances, moving can be quite exhilarating.

In chapter 2, we notice a more urgent tone. The excitement of the move is done, and now they have to get on with their life. As our narrator tells us, "There was the house to be cleaned and straightened and groceries to buy." The ensuing death at work also produces a more distressing and urgent tone.

In chapter 3, we notice the tone of the family dinner. There's arguing, fighting, and general dysfunction. The conflict between Juanita and her dad ends with her father hitting her. As with chapter 2, we notice an odious and threatening tone.

In chapter 4, we could say something about the sexist tone. The chapter starts with Jason hanging out with his "gang." One of the boys says, "That's the problem with women nowadays, they don't have any respect."

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