Guests of the Nation by Frank O'Connor

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What is the tone of "Guests of the Nation"?

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Haleigh Ritchie eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are many ways to identify the tone of a text. A writer often expresses tone through syntax, diction, point of view, and perspective to name a few. I'll focus on how the perspective and point of view inform the tone of the story, and conclude by looking at how diction, specifically the word "dark," redirects the mood of the story.

Guests of the Nation” tells a story of three Irish rebels who are charged with holding two Englishmen prisoner. The Irish and English characters form a bond over cards and companionship, a bond soon fragmented when the unspoken leader of the Irish rebels, Jeremiah Donovan, reveals that they will likely execute the prisoners.

The overarching tone of “Guests of the Nation” is informal. The story is told in 1st person, giving the reader a window into the narrator's thoughts and feelings. A 2nd person narration would lend a sense of informality, but might fall short in evoking such a strong sense of nostalgia. A 3rd person narration might evoke...

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Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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