The Representation of Tone in The Turn of the Screw by Henery James Essay

The Representation of Tone in The Turn of the Screw by Henery James Essay

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The tone of a novel is defined as a way for the author to express his/her attitude toward such story elements as characters, setting, or situation. Tone is present in every novel any author’s writes, as it is this literary device that sets the mood of the story for the reader. Henry James uses tone very effectively in the novel, The Turn of the Screw. The story begins with a joyful and dreamy mood to frightening and furious in the middle and finishes with sorrow and mournful in the end. The shifts in tone are caused by the changes in attitude and actions by the governess.
In the beginning of The Turn of The Screw, the tone is very joyful and dreamy. The story begins with Douglas and friends all telling each other scary stories. It is very peaceful and everyone is enjoying the stories being told. The tone is very joyful as represented by “Is n’t anybody going? It was almost the tone of hope. Everyone will stay!” (James, 6). This shows that everybody is having fun telling each other scary stories and are willing to stay and wait to here the story from Douglas. It was very hopeful as the stories being told were pleasant for the people around the campfire. The tone remains positive at the beginning of the governess’s story. The governess arrives at the house and sees this beautiful girl who is very polite and is too good for her own self. The governess is very happy that she was able to get the position for the job and to experience all of it that she believes that it is almost a dream. This is shown when she says such a place as would somehow, for diversion of the you idea, take all colour out of story-books and fairy-tales”(James, 16). This proves that the governess believes that everything such as Bly, the place in which they are s...


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...clusion, the mood represents that the governess has truly given up on the children and is very sad that nothing else can be done to help them and get rid of the ghosts that are haunting them.
In conclusion, the shifts in actions and attitudes of the governess cause the tone to shift throughout the novel. The tone begins with being joyful and dreamy to furious in the middle and mournful in the end. This all concludes, that the literary device tone is very effective in portraying the mood of the story through the characters actions to the reader. Tone is perhaps one of the most important literary devices author’s use to connect the mood of the story to a reader’s heart and really makes them feel for the characters and what they go through.



Works Cited

James, Henry. The turn of the screw and other short fiction. Bantam classic ed. Toronto: Bantam Books, 1983. Print.

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