Tone and Style
Both tone and style are used to convey an attitude of the story to the reader. Tone is used to create an specific emotion from the reader and is more about how something is said rather than what is said. Language, sentence structure and dialogue are used to create style. So, depending on range of vocabulary and structure of sentences, the writer can create a very descriptive, flowing story or a very simple story using minimal detail.
“A clean, Well Lighted place” is one of Ernest Hemingway’s best short stories and also demonstrates his distinctive writing style. Hemingway’s style is usually very minimal, using few adverbs and adjectives. He is straight to the point and doesn't often create a descriptive background for readers. Another distinctive trait of Hemingway is that he hardly ever tells who is speaking. It is left to the reader to understand and is seen as unnecessary to Hemingway. In “A Clean, Well Lighted Place”, dialogue is sometimes interpreted wrong because two separate lines are sometimes spoken by the sames person, which can confuse the reader.
“A Clean Well Lighted Place” may seems may seem to take place quickly, but it actually is paced more slowly. Hemingway doesn’t use words to pace the story but leaves that to the reader. This creates a somewhat dead tone for the story, that the waiters in the cafe have little to say and rush through the night without any drama. The story is written in a direct an unemotional way in which Hemingway leaves all interpretation to the reader so that the thoughts and feelings of the character can be fully digested. ("A Clean, Well-Lighted Place Tone." Shmoop: Homework Help, Teacher Resources, Test Prep. Web. 20 Jan. 2012. .)
“Barn Burning” is a perfect example of William Faulkner's distinctive style. Faulkner's syntax is the most distinguished trait found in the story. He often uses long, descriptive sentences. These lengthy sentences though sometimes leave unclear resolution. The sentences start strong but taper at the end leaving the reader with a sense of being unclear about how the sentence began. The first example of this style is in the second sentence of ‘‘Barn Burning’’ which is 116 words long and contains between twelve and sixteen clauses ("SparkNotes: Barn Burning: Structure and Style." SparkNotes: Today's Most Popular Study Guides. 2011. Web. 20 Jan. 2012. <http://www.sparknotes.com/short-stories/barn-burning/section1.rhtml>.).
Tone sets the feel of the story for the reader. In “Barn Burning”, there is a sense of urgency and fear. The father is always at some sort of war, physically and mentally. He pulls his family into this and they all become fearful as well, just following his actions. The reader starts the feel Sarty's emotions because the narrator is constantly describing his experiences and internal emotions. The reader feels a sense of opression throughout the story because Sarty's father seems to have complete control over him from the beginning. Sarty's feelings toward the judge were that of hostility because those were his fathers feelings; “our enemy he thought in that despair: ourn! Mine and hisn both! He's my father!” (Pg. 178 Literature An Introduction to Fiction Poetry and Drama.). By the end of the story, Sarty finally finds his way out of his fathers control. Even though it meant leaving his family and betraying his father, he gained the strength and control of his own life.
Honors English VI
January 17, 2012
Tone and Style Essay:
“A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” by: E. Hemingway and “Barn Burning” by: W. Faulkner
“A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” by Hemingway and “Barn Burning” by Faulkner are two short stories that the tone and style can be easily detected. The tone of a story is similar to the tone of a voice, it may communicate many things: anger, amusement, sorrow, and many others. The tone is the feeling the author may be expressing, these feeling can be similar to those of the narrator or entirely different. The style that the story is written in is one of the main indicators to the tone. The style of a story is the individual characteristics a certain piece of writing has, it can be the way a writers customarily uses certain words. “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” is about two waiters who are waiting to close up their café for the night. They only have one customer left: an old man, who is deaf and drunk. This old man is a regular in the café and the two waiters had heard rumors about the old man trying to commit suicide but he was stopped by his niece. When the old man asks for a drink the younger waiter tells him “no” because he is in a hurry to go home and see his wife. When he tells the old man “no”, the man pays and then leaves drunk but with dignity. “Barn Burning” is about a how little boy named Sarty’s dad is burning other peoples barns. In the beginning the Justice and Mr. Harris want Sarty to testify about his father, but when they realize that the boy is just going to lie they just ask Abner, Sarty’s father, to leave the county and never come back. When Sarty is heading to the court house a boy pushes him down and calls him a “Barn Burner”. Sarty and his family moves to a shack on a farm. Abner walked into the tenant’s home though after stepping in horse crap, he has his daughters clean the rug, but the tenant believes that the rug is ruined and charges Abner 20 extra bushels of hay. Abner makes plans to burn the tenant’s barn. Sarty gets free and goes to warn the tenant but the tenant chases him and as he’s running to freedom he hear 3 gun shots and believe his father has been shot and killed, and even though he mourns the loss of his father he knows that he is now free.
The style of “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” is no-nonsense. It is wrote to where it goes straight to the point there is no drawn out descriptions or many adjective. The story is mainly dialogue which is very short and only exactly what the two waiters had to say. In the story instead of Hemingway describing the old man in detail using many pages of non-sense, he does it in a way that is short and directly to the point.
The style of “Barn Burning” is written in a sort of poetic way. Faulkner writes using long sentences that are hard to understand and follow, it drawls his readers in. This is the same way poetry is. He uses these long sentences when he wants you to feel just as the character does. If the character feels lost and confused, he believes you should too.
The tone of “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” is very unemotional. Hemingway does this so that you can take in the dialogue of the characters instead of their personal biases. He doesn’t want to interfere with the reader’s personal interpretation of the dialogue itself. He doesn’t give his characters feeling within the story he leaves it very simple.
The tone of “Barn Burning” is importance. This is because every part of the “Barn Burning” seems to be important. This feeling of important lets us feel the true fragileness of Sarty’s existence, because we know that he must do something big, and that he must do it fast, so that he can get away from his father and his class war. The feeling that every moment in the story is important puts you in the moment and makes you want to continue reading.
The tone and style of a writing is highly important because it is the attitude that the author is trying to convey to the audience. Without the style of a piece of wring it wouldn’t have that writer’s personal touch that marks it as his own. And the tone is the message that the writer is trying to convey to the audience, it is the feelings that the writer has and wants the audience to feel.
"A Clean, Well-Lighted Place." Shmoop: Homework Help, Teacher Resources, Test Prep. Web. 17 Jan. 2012. .