To begin with, tone in the context of literature refers to the attitude or feelings of the writer. They are portrayed by scenery, emotions and even sounds. Tone may be sad, serious, irritated, considerate, playful, or sarcastic among others. Hazlitt William has used tone in his work to bring out different impersonation of his feelings. To start with, Hazlitt brings out the tone of happiness in paragraph one when he acknowledges that he has never been in a better place than that one at his time of writing. More to this point, he notifies the readers that he is having a bird called partridge for his supper. On the same paragraph, tone of seriousness is portrayed when he says that “it is as sound to do it at once as to enclose it to do for a week to come” (Hazlitt 1). He prefers doing his work in time rather than rescheduling it for a later date.
Storming, soft and thoughtful tone has been employed throughout the story as Hazlitt tries to bring out his points in a thoughtful manner as he contemplates on his past being. He was in the past so unwilling to write and this is portrayed when he says that his mind takes its air travel through too elongated a cycle of years. He further says that during this time he was kept by the patience of thought and undisclosed longing after truth and good him to be at a defeat to comprehend the feeling he proposed to write about (Hazlitt 1).
Following this point, in paragraph three, the writer has employed tone of irony when he says that “living to one’s self” means “never thinking at all to one’s-self.” He wants to convey the message of contentment to the society by not saying it directly and thus he portrays an attitude of being paradoxical. In the same line of thought, he mixes a tone of humor and irony when he says that he used to write a page in a duration of half a year and yet he laughed at Nicholson, who in twenty years wrote as much as would make three hundred octavo volumes”(Hazlitt 1). This is ironic and humorous.
The writer brings out the tone of anger and sadness as he remorsefully recalls the past, when he says in paragraph four that “I cared for nothing, I wanted nothing.” This is in reference to the kind of life that he led before writing the given literal work. On the same paragraph, he brings out an allegorical and good-humored tone when he refers to a contented person as one with freedom like air and self-governing like wind” (Hazlitt 1).
From a general point of view, the tone of the author is a remorseful one mixed with a sense of understanding and an aspect of taking an about turn to do that which he used not to do. He was in this sense reluctant to write of which he has finally decided to. At the same time, the author brings out an aspect of coming out from ignorance to action. It is in fact a thoughtful tone that has been explained throughout the story.
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