Guide to Literary Terms

Start Free Trial

What is tone?

Tone is the author’s attitude towards a subject or audience.

Tone

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on February 25, 2021, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 135

Tone is the author's attitude toward a subject or audience. Word choice, imagery, and style all contribute to an author's tone, but specific plot events do not. An author's use of a specific tone can help readers interpret the text's meaning. Tone tells readers how they should feel while reading a piece, thereby influencing a work's mood. It should be noted, though, that tone creates the mood for a piece, but is not the same as mood.

Writing an essay?
Get a custom outline

Our Essay Lab can help you tackle any essay assignment within seconds, whether you’re studying Macbeth or the American Revolution. Try it today!

Start an Essay
  • “Trout, incidentally, had written a book about a money tree. It had twenty-dollar bills for leaves. Its flowers were government bonds. Its fruit was diamonds. It attracted human beings who killed each other around the roots and made very good fertilizer.”

Kurt Vonnegut creates a detached tone throughout Slaughterhouse-Five, as shown in this excerpt.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access


Homework Help

Latest answer posted August 13, 2020, 12:57 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Explore all literary terms.


See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Previous

Thesis

Next

Tragedy