Comment on the tone of "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening."

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Whenever we think about tone we need to remember that we can define it as the attitude a writer takes towards a character, subject or reader. Often tone is partly established through the careful use of diction, so a good way to start identifying tone is by looking at words in the poem relating to the topic and seeing what attitude they convey. This poem describes an incredibly peaceful and tranquil scene, as a man going home stops by some woods and a frozen lake on a dark winter's night. This could easily be described as a scary scene, after all, it is the "darkest evening of the year." However, the word choice gives this poem a peaceful, attractive and relaxing tone. Note how the silence is only broken by the harness bells and the "sweep / Of easy wind and downy flake," which is a very calm, relaxing sound. Likewise, the woods are not described as menacing at all. On the contrary, they are "lovely, dark and deep," and therefore very attractive. All of these examples of word choice help to establish the tranquil, peaceful tone.

Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

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