THE tone of the speaker is altering

THE tone of the speaker is altering

THE TONE OF A SETTING When having a conversation with someone it is easy to know how they are feeling by the tone in their voice. If a person is being funny, they tend to have a smile on their face, but when a person is angry about a particular subject, the tone of their voice becomes extremely loud and overbearing. While reading novels or short stories the characters tone is distinguishable because of the author’s use of exclamation points or italicized words. These make the reader understand the characters emotions and feelings throughout the entire book.

As for poems, the tone is not as recognizable. A reader is not capable of understanding the tone from just simply glancing at a few words. The tone is derived from several words and attitudes that the poet conveys to their reader.

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Poets, Pat Mora and Anthony Grooms, both use tone in their poems, but only one tone changes with the different setting, while the other tone remains constant. In Pat Mora’s, “Elena,” the speaker is a Mexican woman who explains how her life has changed due to her and her family moving to the United States.The first line in the poem brings a slight negative tone, “My Spanish isn’t enough.

” Right away the reader is brought into this poem believing that the speaker believes that she isn’t good enough because she takes ownership of the word Spanish. Had she had not taken ownership of Spanish, then the reader would be lead to believe that Spanish alone isn’t enough. The next five lines following takes the reader back to Mexico, where the speaker is originally from. When the speaker talks of Mexico, it is with delight and fondness, shifting the tone of the poem.The speaker would “smile” (Line 2) at the sounds of her “little ones” (Line 3) as they would tell, “their jokes, their songs, their plots” (Line 5). The words, ‘jokes,’ ‘smiles,’ and “dulces” (Line 6), enhance the tone of the setting as an enjoyable one.

Then, with a dramatic turn the speaker says, “But that was in Mexico” (Line 7). The word ‘but’ gives the reader a hint that the tone of the speaker is altering once again, going back to the tone in the very beginning line. The remainder of the poem’s setting takes place in the United States, where the speaker and her family now reside.Living in the United States, the speaker’s miserable tone results from the fact that she feels alienated from her children, but now they, “go to American high schools/ They speak English” (Line 8-9).

English, a language she does not understand and is, “embarrassed at mispronouncing words” (Line 16). This barrier of language has broken off a major form of communication between her children and her. There once was a time when she would laugh along with her children as they told jokes, but now all she can do is, “stand by the stove and feel dumb, alone” (Line 11).

The speaker’s setting has distorted her self image.The fact that she now feels dumb is a completely different feeling from how she felt in Mexico where she, “understood every word they’d say” (Line 4). Yearning for that familiarity of the bond between her children and herself she, “bought a book to learn English” (Line 12). This is her only way to adjust to her new setting and because she feared that one day she, “will be deaf/ when (her) children need (her) help” (Line 21-22).

In Anthony Grooms’, “Homespace,” the speaker’s mind-set remains constant from the setting that he had just returned from and in the new setting where the poem takes place.In contrast to Mora’s poem, Grooms’ tone never alternates; it is a stable conscience feeling of being in a war-like state of mind. The speaker has just returned from the war, “My mother did not know me when I knocked. / She said her son was killed in the war” (Line 1-2).

The detail of him knocking on his mother’s door, gives the idea that he is not himself. His mother and father had a barbeque in his honor, but, “when the fuel/ Exploded on the coals, (he) heard screams” (Line 4-5). For him to hear such a horrifying sound allows the reader to understand in what types of conditions he had to endure as a soldier in war.Even though the soldier should now feel a sense of security, he continues to suffer from the emotional and psychological impact of the war, “(he) watched the sky for the enemy” (Line 14). The poem has pieces of a more cheery tone, such as, “Women and children laughed” (Line 12), but the reader can only believe that the speaker is describing them as for a way to distinguish the way he feels in comparison to civilians who don’t realize what he and other soldiers have been through.

Because the speaker was trapped in a war-state-of-mind, the poem had no way of changing the tone for a more pleasing one.As shown, the tone of the poem can decipher where and how the speaker of the poem experiences an individual place. The tone in Mora’s poem facilitated the idea of the speaker’s attitude towards two distinct locations. On the other hand, Grooms used tone to illustrate the speaker’s state of mind remaining the same because of the effects of war, no matter his location.

Tone is a way to aid the reader in understanding the positions and behavior of the speaker, a character, or a location. ———————————————— This poem shows a women who tries to relate to her children and the community she lives in by trying to adapt to the English language. She feels she will lose her children because of the communication barrier. Think about living in a society where you do not speak their mutual language. She strives to learn the language to associate to others than her family. Her husband does not approve of being smarter than her, therefore she locks herself up and secretly tries to learn on her own.

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