Tone Analysis of "We Are Still Only Human"

Topics: Sentence, Word, Style Pages: 2 (719 words) Published: January 31, 2012
We Are Still and Always Will Be
“We Are Still Only Human” by Verlyn Klinkenborg is an analysis of expectations and human nature in which there is too much of a positive outlook for the future of society. Klinkenborg uses a serious tone that makes his essay fit for a speech. He also uses many techniques to show tone including diction, imagery, details, language, and sentence structure.

“The politeness that afflicts me is not civility, which is an urbane quality compatible even with cynicism”(ll.5-7). Klinkenborg's choice of vocabulary is what separates his essay from others. He chooses powerful words like cynicism and afflict instead of common words that are used daily so that the message portrayed is more dominating. “Not consoling enough? Then try this." (ll.131-132). The constant use of questions by Klinkenborg helps erect a base that he uses to urge on a desire to take his words to heart and make his tone that much more powerful."The men and women who speak so unrelentingly of 'our children's children.' Who are the children whose children are going to usher in the future? Are they the 30 percent of American children now living in poverty? What kind of future are they imagining?"(ll.76-83).The occasional use of questions makes the reader more engaged so that Klinkenborg’s distinctive tone stands out further and the image of politicians being ignorant about the current state of their generation is illustrated easily in the mind.

Klinkenborg's ability to be able to let the reader render images from his words seems to be his strong point. For example, “I have learned to depend on my politeness and to hate it, because it so often feels like a hand clutching my windpipe”( ll.3-5). The imagery expressed by Klinkenborg is very potent since he makes the few-and-far-in-between imagery uses easy to establish yet finish with a strong effect. The way he uses clutching instead of grabbing or holding gives a villainous connotation to the image. Clutching is a word...
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