Worksheet 1 Answer Key: Author's Tone

person at typewriter
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Stop! Before you read on, have you completed the Author's Tone Worksheet 1, first? If not, go back, answer the questions and then head back here and find out what you've gotten right and what you may have missed. 

If you're curious about what author's tone really is and wondering how to figure it out, here are three of the tricks you can use to determine the author's tone when you don't have a clue.

Feel free to use these free printable pdf files for your own educational use, too:

Passage 1 

1. What does the author most likely want to convey through the use of the phrase “ready consent to terms and a couple of coins flung upon the table"?

                A. The stranger's lack of manners and thoughtfulness.

                B. The stranger's desire to quickly get to his room.

                C. The stranger's greediness in bartering.

                D. The stranger's discomfort.

The correct answer is B. The stranger is desperate for warmth. We know that because he's covered in snow and asks for human charity, which we can only assume is because he's cold. So even though we know he is uncomfortable, the correct answer is NOT D. The author uses the words "ready consent," which means "eager or quickly willing" consent and coins "flung" upon the table to indicate a hurried pace. Yes, we know it's because he's uncomfortable, but the phrases indicate speed. 


2. The author's attitude toward mothers trying to arrange marriages for their daughters could best be described as:

A. accepting of the notion

B. irritated with the notion

C. astonished by the notion

D. amused by the notion

The correct answer is D. Even if we read nothing beyond the first line, we'd get the sense that the author was slightly amused by the subject matter. The author further makes the scene amusing by pitting a complacent husband against his busybody wife. Austen depicts the mother as meddling, gossiping, and impatient. If Austen were irritated by the idea, she'd make the mother more unlikable. If she were astonished by the idea, then she'd make the husband act aghast when Mrs. Bennet brings it up. If she were accepting of the idea, then she probably wouldn't have written about it in a witty way. Hence, Choice D is the best bet. 

3. What tone is the author most likely trying to convey with the sentence, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

                A. satiric

                B. scornful

                C. reproachful

                D. weary

The correct answer is A. This speaks to the tone of the excerpt as a whole. She's sarcastic about society's notion of marrying young women off to wealthy men. Her overreaching statement, "a truth universally acknowledged" is an example of hyperbole, which is an exaggerated statement not meant to be taken literally." And although she may personally be reproachful or scornful of the idea, her tone does not convey it in this satire.


4. Which of the following choices provides the best answer to the author's final question posed in the text, while maintaining the tone of the article?

A. It could be that I'd fallen into a nightmare without knowing it. 

B. It had to be the dreariness of the day. Nothing about the house itself was particularly depressing.

C. The solution defied me. I couldn't get at the heart of my displeasure.

D. It was a mystery I couldn't solve; nor could I grapple with the shadowy fancies that crowded upon me as I pondered. 

The correct choice is D. Here, the answer must closely mirror the language in the text. The words used by Poe are complicated, as is his sentence structure. Choice B and D's sentence structure is too simple and Choice B's answer is incorrect based on the text. Choice A seems logical until you place it up against Choice D, which uses a complex structure and language similar to that already in the text.

5. Which emotion is the author most likely trying to rouse from his reader after reading this text?

                A. hatred

                B. terror

                C. apprehension

                D. depression

The correct choice is C. Although the character feels depression upon viewing the house, Poe is trying to make the reader feel apprehension in the scene. What's going to come up? If he were trying to make the reader feel depressed, he would have spoken to something more personal. And he wasn't trying to terrify the reader in this scene, either. He would've used scarier content instead of relying on the dark, depressing words and phrases he does. And Choice A is completely off! Hence, Choice C is the best answer.