i'm a foreign student of "English". please explain about "tone" and "theme " in the stories. i mean what's the meaning of tone/ theme? thank you.

Expert Answers
ms-einstein eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Congratulations on learning English. In literature, tone means the author's or writer's view toward his characters or subject. For example, tone can be humorous, serious, ironic, or tragic. Tone can be confused with mood, which describes how a passage feels as you read it. Mood is much like moods people have. For example, a passage can be sad, funny, somber, or scary.

Theme is the major ideas the author explores in the literary work. Common themes are love, friendship, death, discrimination, betrayal, hatred, racial inequality, and youth. Often, the author tries to convey a more specific message, such as love can overcome obstacles. In fables, the theme or moral message is directly stated. For example, everyone should work hard during the summer to ensure they have enough food for the winter. In other stories, though, theme usually is implied. You interpret theme by analyzing common ideas that run throughout the entire story and by looking at how the characters respond to conflicts. Both give clues to the theme. Stories, especially novels, usually have more than one theme.


Good luck in your studies!

schulzie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The TONE is how the writer feels about his subject.  It can be funny, serious, loving, hateful, objective, angry, sarcastic etc.  Take the subject of football.  If a man wrote a story about his favorite sport, football, his tone might be enthusiastic and excited.  But if his wife, who hates the sport, writes an article, it might be sarcastic and hateful.  That would be the TONE of the article. Many authors who write persuasive articles use tone to encourage their readers to feel a certain way about a subject.

The THEME is the statement about life or human nature that the authors wants to make to the reader.  It is different from the subject.  It is the message that the author wants to send. There are three things you should do to understand the theme.  1. Find the big ideas in the story.  What is it about?  2. What do the characters say and do about this idea? 3. Write the theme by combining the two.  Yours might be a little different from another person's theme, but as long as you can back it up with evidence, you should be OK.

arenya | Student

While analysing a story, it is important to bear in mind that diverse elements of the story are all working together, towards an integrated whole.The background of the author must be read as the story can sometimes be inspired by events that occured in his life even if it is a sad, tragic,good or bad experience...This is called THE AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL elements where the story is closely related to his personal life and experiences.And the events happening at the author's time may influence his writing for example:if there has been a war,or any other events...Every story has a main concern or topic:THEME...it is the main concern in the story and if you know the different themes in the story then you just have to support your answer with examples or quotations from the book.

The first impression we gafrom our reading is the story's tone.Tone in a story can refer to the tone the narrator adopts towards his reader as well as the tone displays toward his themes or subjects.We can describe a story's tone by adjectives.As it relates to the theme or the subject matter, the tone may be wristful,admiring, harsh.The tone may also shift or change within the cause of a story.