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Tone, Diction, and Analysis of Word Choice

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Sarahruth Miller

on 23 August 2015

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Transcript of Tone, Diction, and Analysis of Word Choice

Characterization, Tone, Word Choice (Diction)
Essential Questions for Today's Lesson
How do you find meaning in word choice?

How do you determine the author’s intent through word choice?

How is diction used in poetry?

Diction and Tone
Diction: this is a fancy word for word choice. The words that author's use in their stories
meaning. Authors choose words deliberately when they write to impact the selection and the tone or mood of the piece.
Connotation Vs. Denotation
Denotative meaning of a word is the literal meaning- what does it say when we look it up in the dictionary?

The connotative meaning of the word is the emotional feelings a word creates.
Tone and Mood
"After work, he sat in the backyard under the arbor, watching the water
in the rosebushes that ran along the fence. A lemon tree
over the clothesline."
Objective: to explore and to determine the impact author's word choice/tone/characterization has on literature and its themes.
Tone vs. Mood
Our textbook differentiates between by saying:

"A key element of style is tone, a writer’s attitude toward a subject, a character, or the audience. Tone isn’t only what you say but also how you say it."
MS. MILLER'S DEFINITION: Tone is how the author/speaker feels TOWARD the subject being discussed.

When you walk into a room full of people, you can often sense the mood—for example, a feeling of celebration or mourning, concern or relaxation. Writers create mood, or emotional atmosphere, by choosing their words carefully."
MS. MILLER'S DEFINITION: Mood is how the text makes YOU feel (scared, angry, sad)
How are tone and mood conveyed in writing?
can be shown through the use of
word choices and figures of speech
can be shown through the
use of imagery and figurative language
- words that connect with
this word in the dictionary states, "a woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth."

What about the word snake?
Look at it these two sentences:
1. There was a snake in my backyard
2. My best friend's boyfriend is a snake.
What about
the connotative meaning of the word mother?
For me it makes me think of role-model, affectionate, caring, love, affection.
What images/feelings do the words 'gurgle' and 'hover' bring out?
How do they help 'set the scene'?
Identify the Tone/Mood
- The burglar looked furtively around the room as he slowly and carefully climbed through the broken window.
-The young child sobbed uncontrollably after her mother dropped her off at school for her first day in kindergarten.
- The girls twirled merrily in their costumes as they danced up the driveway in search of candy.
-The boy and his dad cheered wildly and high-fived each other as the time ran out on the game clock.
In Poetry
Diction is used to help determine the meaning of the poem!
From "A Place Without Shame" : On arrival we leave our
in the care and lock the door. As we enter the house we wipe our
off of our shoes.

An Example!
the words "invisibility" and "insecurity" show that the speaker feels small and afraid when he is around the main culture. (TONE)

This makes the reader feel sympathy toward the speaker (MOOD).
Let's Practice
"I am a
Durham Performance Learning Center

" I am a
in this
What is the TONE of the following sentences?
Full transcript