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Tone Analysis of Poems - Essay Example

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This paper, Tone Analysis of Poems, declares that the tone of the voice in poetry reveals the attitude of the speaker or the poet towards the subject of the poem. A poet’s tone most probably suggests two kinds of attitudes, one concerning the audience and the other about the subject…
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Tone Analysis of Poems
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Download file to see previous pages The two poems taken for discussion are Phillis Wheatley’s On Being Brought from Africa to America and William Blake’s The Chimney Sweeper. The analysis of these two poems is done by identifying the tone of voice in each of the poems by concentrating on the specific words that the poet chooses to set the mood of the poem and to express his/her attitude regarding the subject.
Phillis Wheatley’s On Being Brought from Africa to America addresses the society’s prejudices about perceiving the notion of race, religion, and identity. The poem is written in a satirical tone, expressing the poet’s mixed attitudes of gratefulness and resentment towards the society. Wheatley starts the poem with a grateful attitude from her personal experiences of Christian salvation and enlightenment of soul; nevertheless, she abruptly turns the poem’s tone into a satirical one, condemning the cultural norms of racism. The poem’s ironic tone can be seen in her personification of ‘mercy’ as a kind owner or Savior who had brought her from the Pagan land. The poet posits a plosive style in using the word ‘Pagan land’ to depict the land as a place of benighted souls. Similarly, she uses words like ‘benighted soul’, ‘sable race’, ‘scornful eye’, and ‘diabolic die’ to portray the society’s dark impression of black people and their land.
The poet also expresses a sarcastic tone by comparing slavery and redemption as a grateful act of her oppressors. “Taught my benighted soul to understand That there's a God, that there's a Saviour too: Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.” The word choices like “Pagan”, “Saviour”, “Christians”, and “Cain” are allusions to biblical scriptures, providing theological implications to the subject matter of racism. The usage of biblical simile, “Black as Cain” depicts the association of sin with black color.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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