Analysis Of The Book ' The Greatest Gift ' Essay

Analysis Of The Book ' The Greatest Gift ' Essay

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According to Edgar V. Robert’s (b.1928), in his twelfth chapter from Writing about Literature titled “Writing about Tone: The Writer’s Control over Attitudes and Feelings” (1961) the theory of tone refers to the methods by which writers and speakers reveal attitudes or feelings. In both the short stories “The Greatest Gift” (1943), by author Philip Van Doren Stern (1900-1984) and “Araby” (1914), by author James Joyce (1882-1941) the tone is shown by the attitudes the authors set through the protagonist of each story.
The authors of both of these short stories use tone to provide a better understanding of what they wanted us, as readers, to feel while reading. Since Robert’s described the theory of tone as referring to the attitudes or feelings the writers reveal in their writing, then it should be simple to find the tone in the beginning, the discovery, and the outcome of both short stories.
Philip Van Doren Stern used tone to reveal what he wanted his readers to feel while reading his short story. Expressing the tone, Van Doren Stern uses the attitude of the protagonist to provide a deeper meaning to the story. Using the attitude of the protagonist, we can visualize the atmosphere being described in the writing. Such as at the beginning of “The Greatest Gift,” the author sets the tone as despair as we see the protagonist, George Pratt, contemplate suicide. “The water looked paralyzingly cold. George wondered how long a man could stay alive in it” (Van Doren Stern 1). Despair is understood to be the tone because as the reader we feel with the attitude being set that George’s life is a mess at the time and that he has no other way out then to end his life.
In the beginning of James Joyce short story, the tone is easy to identify ...


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...ppointment of thinking he could get his crush a gift but everything was to expensive for him. “When I came home to dinner my uncle had not yet been home…I asked him to give me the money to go to the bazaar…Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and fear” (Joyce 4-6). Joyce did a great job of revealing the tone. We also feel the hurt that the young boy is feeling at the end. A great way in setting the tone in the outcome of the short story.
As you can see in both short stories the authors create the tone by revealing the attitudes of the protagonists. Finding the tone of a story can help the reader visualize better on what the author wants us to feel at that moment in the story. The tone has allowed us to identify and feel what both of the protagonists had felt during both short stories.

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