Author’s Style Essay
Different authors have different styles. These styles can completely change a piece, affecting tone, mood, pace, plot, and many other key characteristics, in the literature. The tone of the story is conveyed to the reader realistically through the use of colloquialism and a consistent point of view. To Kill a Mockingbird and The Odyssey both use colloquialism effectively to deepen the tone, while The Miracle Worker and To Kill a Mockingbird both keep a steady point of view.
A major factor that determines tone is setting. A book’s setting is its place and time. To truly capture the setting, an author must use different aspects of the day’s life, such as colloquialisms. Colloquialisms cause the reader to drift into the mood and place and sink them into the mind. In To Kill a Mockingbird, the Finch children visit the African American church. To relay the appreciative, yet uneducated tone more clearly and give a better conception of the reality, the fellow churchgoers greet them and tell them, “Don’t pay no ‘tention to” (159) the ruder, less welcoming people. The comment is one of many that are inserted to show how Scout and Jem are welcomed into the community and spread the warm, easygoing, happy-go-lucky tone of the section. However, when Scout comments that what Jem says is “nigger-talk,” (49) the dialect puts the ‘ridiculous’ conversation about Hot Steams into context and brings out how lowly and scornful the tone really is. The Odyssey is also full of dialectical language. At the beginning of the book, “with wand in hand [Hermes] paced into the air.” (1206:7) This quotation shows how the language was phrased in those days; in a manner that would be considered in the modern world as inverted syntax. Today we would say ‘Hermes paced into the air with a wand in his hand,’ but the dialectical language of the day was different then what it is now. This alternate phrasing helps the reader fit into the book’s setting because they feel and say the language. When they begin to understand the setting, they understand the tone because the tone of the setting is the tone of the book. Here, the setting includes a determined Hermes, and a result, the tone of the setting and the book is fast paced and intense. When Odysseus refers to the “young Dawn” (1223:178) and “Cronus’ son” (1223:170), using these nicknames, he is indeed using colloquialisms. These help to set the reader inside the setting and tone, because when they are reading, they are using the nickname. ‘Talking’ like Odysseus helps the reader understand the hero and think like him, and they begin to feel the difficulties. The reader doesn’t see Zeus as another god; he is rather the son of the feared Cronus and is to be revered. The morning is not just another morning, but the young Dawn. They soon begin to address items as such in their head, and soon, they think alike and feel the situation alike. As a result, they begin to feel the tone more. These two books provide evidence that colloquialism is very important in setting the tone.
Point of view is also major in helping the tone resonate. An ever-changing point of view leads to a less intense mood and tone. However, if the point of view stays the same, then that character’s thoughts and emotions comprise the tone. For example, in To Kill a Mockingbird, when Scout recollects about “the misery of the house,” (15), she thinks seriously and peruses through all the information. It is all from her point of view, so the tone takes that of her grave thoughts; serious and severe. What she thinks is essentially what the book thinks. The tone changes as her ideas change, and it follows the track of her ideas because To Kill a Mockingbird is written entirely from her perspective. When things are “utterly dull,” (226) the tone stays calm, while when she they get “real scary” (375), the tone becomes graver or fiercer. The Miracle Worker is written mainly from Anne Sullivan’s point of view. “The, more, [Anne], think[s], the, more, certain,” it is that the reader will understand the tone. (52) This causes the tone to follow whatever Anne is feeling; for example, at the time of the above quote, the tone switches with her thoughts to a grave, grim atmosphere. On numerous instances, Annie recalls her promise to her brother that she would be there “forever and ever,” (22) and the tone becomes like her thoughts- determined and fierce. Other situations in the play also react the same way. From the above paragraph, it can be seen that point of view is very important in helping bring out the tone.
Colloquialisms and point of view do not always act alone. In To Kill a Mockingbird, both devices are present in great quantities. As both are agents to amplify the tone, this novel results in having the most intense tone. Harper Lee’s style creates one of the most interesting novels written because it keeps a consistent point of view and is filled with colloquialisms.
Different authors use different styles and devices. However, in most novels, it can be concluded that the use of colloquialism and a consistent point of view realistically convey the tone to the reader.