Model Literary Response Essays – Prompts

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Prompts : Tone is the mood or feeling the author intends the reader to experience. Using a specific piece of literature, explain how tone enhances the work.

Model Literary Response Essay Sample 1

Writers for TV sitcoms or movies are fortunate. Visuals often convey tone much more conveniently than words. Writers have to be very skillful in word choice in order to evoke emotions. While I began to explore Edgar Allan Poe’s works, I was intrigued with the way Poe carefully chose language and with the way it evoked a very certain mood or tone.

In Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”, I was amazed with the way the main character could grow to hate someone’s physical appearance so much so that he could stare at him for hours on end. The plot of this story revolves around a young man who rents a room from an elderly man in a large, dark mansion. This is how Poe begins to create the tone or mood. If the setting were in a house with a white picket fence in Pleasantville, the setting might not be as effective for suspense or horror. However, Poe begins to masterfully build suspense in “The Tell-Tale Heart”. For example, the deranged tenant slowly opens the elderly man’s bedroom door at night and stares at his glass eye for hours in a seething rage. He does this numerous times, to where the reader begins to understand that this man is far from normal. His
obsession leads him to commit a horrible crime.

The rage this man feels about the eye finally comes to a point wherein he attacks the man and suffocates him in his bed. Afterwards, he dismembers his corpse and hides the pieces under the floorboards. By now, the reader is in complete disbelief and awe at such a heinous, non-provoked attack, that we must continue reading. The tone becomes very eerie, and will soon turn suspenseful.
Finally, the police investigate the home after a neighbor reported hearing screams coming from the house. The deranged man invites the police in, and invites them to sit with him in the room where the corpse lies. Poe now adds to the tone with more suspense and a feeling of anxiety to whether the man will confess to the murder. While speaking with the police, the man begins to hear a faint heartbeat that continues to grow in volume.

However, he is the only one who hears the noise. The man attempted to cunningly fool the police officers while sitting on the corpse, only to now mentally break down from the noise inside his mind to where he confesses. The torture this man evokes on himself adds tremendously to the tone of the story. Just as Poe creates an eerie, intense, and twisted tone to his fiction, authors can lead their readers to feel certain emotions through their writing.

Model Literary Response Essay Sample 2

Tone can be called the way an author makes you feel while reading their work. I personally have been frightened, brought to tears, extremely angry, and have laughed out loud simply by the way an author creates the tone of a story. This is also very similar to what an audience experiences while watching a film.

I recall one work I read by Edgar Allen Poe called The Telltale Heart, which has a bizarre, twisted tone. Initially, I thought this story was simply about a man who takes in a stranger. However, the tone of the story became strange when the tenant stares at his landlord while he sleeps. Poe leads us into the mind of a madman. I was on the edge of my seat as the police were asking questions of the man. The tone of the story, or the mood, was both frightening and suspenseful. I enjoy reading all types of books because many times the tone is different. I especially like Poe’s stories because I now know how he used tone in
his twisted tales.

Model Literary Response Essay Sample 3

Tone is like when the writor makes you feel good when you read books. I like to read a lot. In this essay I will tell you about tone.
I like many books that have tone. If you don’t have tone, then sometimes I don’t like to read these kinds. I like to read books about animuls, cars, and misteries. I really like misteries because you try an figure out what happens.
In this essay I have told you about tone.

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