Figurative Language

What actually is tone?

Tone is used in every story, essay, and piece of writing out there. The author creates tone by using figurative language and other techniques of writing. In a nutshell, tone is the author or speaker's demeanor toward the audience, the subject, or the characters.


As the gentle sea breeze grazed over the hot sand, Willow relaxed and sipped her sweet tea. Since school has been so stressful lately, she appreciated the brief moment of tranquility in the shade on the beach.

In this example, the tone would be "relaxed", "calm", or "light".

Although it appeared as though she was casually reviewing her notecards, Jite was a complete mess! She was about to give a speech in front of her entire class of 2015! "Valedictorian," she thought, "an honor, of course, but must I give a speech?!" The principal called out her name to rise. Jite stood apprehensively and glided over to the podium.

In this example, the tone is "anxious", "reluctant", or "nerve-inducing".

The smell of eggnog and cookies engulfed the dimly lit room. The enormous tree was covered in tinsel, sparkling lights, and various shiny ornaments. Suddenly, crashing was heard from up the stairs. Undoubtedly, the noise came from the children running from their dens in anticipation of receiving presents.

In this example, the tone would be "mirthful", "euphoric", or "exciting".