2 August 2010
Conveying a Purpose by the Use of Tone in Essay Writing
The tone of an essay reveals to readers who the author and gives them a sense of the writer's personality. Tone tells the reader why the author is writing about their chosen subject. Both Barry and Pollitt are comparing the differences in men and women but their reasons for it and outlook about it vary greatly. Barry seems to celebrate these differences and make light of them while Pollitt explores the causes and effects of the differences. Katha Pollitt’s is most effective at revealing herself and her views through the tone of her essay. Tone can be set from the first sentence written or a single word used in one incidence in a paper. The words one chooses, voice inflection, pitch, or slang expressions determine how people interpret the intent of verbal conversation; tone does the same for writing. Tone lets the reader know if the writer intends to be humorous or serious, casual or formal. The words an author chooses to use in their writing leads the reader to make decisions about the writer’s attitude toward their subject. Pollitt says “The Cut and Style Barbie styling head, for example, a grotesque object.” Her use of the word grotesque makes a strong statement about her feelings toward this toy for girls. Throughout her essay Katha Pollitt takes a stand on her subject, she creates her tone in the first paragraph and builds on it throughout her essay. In Katha Pollitt’s essay, Why Boys Don’t Play with Dolls she opens with the following line; “It’s 28 years since the founding of NOW, and boys still like trucks and girls still like dolls.” The title, with the use of contractions, suggests something other than formal writing and lends to the tone of her writing. After reading the opening sentence she seems put off and perhaps even disgusted and sarcastic in her tone. Pollitt maintains this throughout her essay. She uses phrases like “we don’t need”, “It hasn’t even”, “I’m at a” and “just...
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