Pat Mora - Elena

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When having a conversation with someone it is easy to know how they are feeling by the tone in their voice. If a person is being funny, they tend to have a smile on their face, but when a person is angry about a particular subject, the tone of their voice becomes extremely loud and overbearing. While reading novels or short stories the characters tone is distinguishable because of the author's use of exclamation points or italicized words. These make the reader understand the characters emotions and feelings throughout the entire book. As for poems, the tone is not as recognizable. A reader is not capable of understanding the tone from just simply glancing at a few words. The tone is derived from several words and attitudes that the poet conveys to their reader. Poets, Pat Mora and Anthony Grooms, both use tone in their poems, but only one tone changes with the different setting, while the other tone remains constant. In Pat Mora's, "Elena," the speaker is a Mexican woman who explains how her life has changed due to her and her family moving to the United States. The first line in the poem brings a slight negative tone, "My Spanish isn't enough." Right away the reader is brought into this poem believing that the speaker believes that she isn't good enough because she takes ownership of the word Spanish. Had she had not taken ownership of Spanish, then the reader would be lead to believe that Spanish alone isn't enough. The next five lines following takes the reader back to Mexico, where the speaker is originally from. When the speaker talks of Mexico, it is with delight and fondness, shifting the tone of the poem. The speaker would "smile" (Line 2) at the sounds of her "little ones" (Line 3) as they would tell, "their jokes, their songs, their plots" (Line 5). The words, 'jokes,' 'smiles,' and "dulces" (Line 6), enhance the tone of the setting as an enjoyable one. Then, with a dramatic turn the speaker says, "But that was in Mexico" (Line...
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