Silent Witness – Chapter 8

1.) Mood and tone is significant to the selected text of Silent Witness – Chapter 8.

Mood refers to the atmosphere (or feelings) which Joe creates in a passage of writing. Where as tone refers to the attitude of the writer which Joe describes towards what is happening in the passage.  Moods and Tones are significant to the text because it shows the reader the atmosphere of the mood that Joe is in and what Joe’s presents to the mood with his attitudes and feelings which is tone. These moods and tones are illustrated by Joe’s use of word selection, language techniques and sentence structures/syntax.

A selected text that demonstrates the importance of the use of moods and tones is “I stared at the mountain rising over me. Empty. It was a pointless thing to have done – climb up it, across it, and down it. Stupid! It looked perfect; so clean and untouched, and we had changed nothing, It was beautiful, immaculate, but it left me empty. I had been on it too long, and it had taken everything.” 

As the reader I interpret this passage of mood illustrated by Joe to be that the mountain is grande, still, untouched and perfect. I understand this mood from the text because of Joe’s word selection of beautiful, immaculate and clean which creates to me a image that the atmosphere of the snow is bright, silky and flawless. However the tone that Joe presents in the readers understanding is that Joe portrays a frustrated attitude towards the mood because Joe feels that all the hard work he has accomplished on this mountain has left no evidence of his hard work. I visualize this because of the word selection in the phrases ‘It was pointless’ ‘we had changed nothing’. Also as the reader I perceive that Joe’s frustration has built up from his low self esteem as Joe is on the verge of death and feels like if he dies he will be worthless as individuals will look towards the mountain and see that Joe has conquered nothing.  As the reader I also understand from the text that Joe’s tone to the text is he feels drained as he feels he has invested his blood, sweat, tears and time on this mountain for to long and has gained no sense of accomplishment.  I understand this with the phrases ‘it left me empty’ ‘I had been on it to long’. I also perceive this by the language technique used of personification with the selected test ‘it had taken everything’ as Joe feels that the mountain a non living physical object had stole everything Joe had possessed like a human presence.

2.)Another text that implements moods and tones is “This place was ageless and lifeless. A mass of snow, and ice, and rock slowly moving upwards; freezing, thawing, cracking asunder, always chasing with the passing of centuries. What a silly thing to pit oneself against!” 

As the reader I understand from this text that the mood described by Joe is lonely and timeless. I envision this with imagery portrayed by the word selection of ageless and lifeless. This image is encountered as the reader can visualize no other organism of life which due to my experiences of being alone presents me to the emotive language of loneliness which I can only picture Joe feeling the same way.  Also the mood of timeless pops to mind due to the word selection of ageless. Because of my personal perception, the first thing that springs to mind from the word ageless is the age of people. And as the age of people increases the look of them changes. However in this case the mountain is ageless meaning it doesn’t look significantly different or changes over time therefore bringing up the mood of timeless as time passes by without anything changing. As the reader I also understand the tone Joe presents to the text which is he feels ashamed and stupid. This is because Joe describes the mountain to be superior by selecting words like ageless but also stating the processes the mountain undertakes that cannot be stopped unlike himself. Joe also uses figurative language of personification to show how the mountain cannot be stopped as if it were ageless. The text states ‘always chasing with the passing of centuries’ as if the mountain could perform a human action of chasing. As the reader I also perceive the tone that Joe feels stupid and ashamed by the word selection of ‘silly’ in his final quote of “What a silly thing to pit oneself against!” This demonstrates to me that Joe feels stupid and ashamed to even try to conquer this near impossible climb. With my biases and experiences I also perceive that Joe feels this way as iv’e been in situations where at the beginning, I felt confident something was easy or possible but then attempted it and realized its not so easy with the skills I possessed, feeling stupid and embarrassed/ashamed when confronting the individual that I had said I could do it. A specific example of this was when I was the age of 8 thinking I could swim a length of 100metres, telling all of my friends I could do it with barely any swim lessons or expertise. However when attempting it I soon realized this was extremely difficult and failed feeling stupid and embarrassed in front of my friend gaining a low self esteem afterwards.

 

One Reply to “Silent Witness – Chapter 8”

  1. Really perceptive (and honest) points, Michael- well done!
    E.g. “Joe feels that all the hard work he has accomplished on this mountain has left no evidence of his hard work.” AND “This is because Joe describes the mountain to be superior by selecting words like ageless but also stating the processes the mountain undertakes that cannot be stopped unlike himself.”
    * Well done for fully developing your answer about the mountain being “ageless” – an effective, detailed discussion here.

    It would have been good to have you explain/clarify specific points further.
    E.g. “Joe’s frustration has built up from his low self esteem.” I.e. How does Joe’s self esteem affect how he describes his circumstances? How is his self-esteem tied to the mountain?

    Overall, the structure of your points (State, Expand, Example, Response) is getter clearer and stronger. I am really pleased with your approach to these tasks 🙂

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