Tone in The Crucible

347 Words2 Pages
In Brooks Atkinson’s review of “The Crucible,” he uses all of the eight elements of tone. These elements portray what his attitude is toward the subject. The different facets of tone cause the reader to believe that the review relates to more than just the play. The time period of the essay factors into how the message of the review also relates to McCarthyism. Although all of the pieces of tone are present in the review, the catalysts of the essay are his diction, sentence structure, and subject. These important pieces are what clearly state his message and his tone throughout the essay. Throughout the review many words made an abundance of occurrences. Atkinson intentionally uses words such as “powerful” repetitively to enforce the overall mood of the review. The word powerful makes it clear to the reader that Atkinson was heavily impacted by the performance. Atkinson’s diction automatically creates the impression that the dramatization served a greater purpose than just to entertain. In many instances during the review, Atkinson used short, deliberate sentences. These changes in sentence structure were used to emphasize his emotion. When speaking of the differences between Arthur Miller’s works, Atkinson said “The literary style of “The Crucible” was cruder.” He said this abruptly because he wanted to assure that his point would be made. The brief sentence forced the reader to concentrate on the emphasis of Atkinson’s opinion. McCarthyism was at its peak in 1953 and the release of “the Crucible” was no coincidence. Although Atkinson writes about the plot of the play, he ensures to include the details that correlate to the present day situation. He adds in combinations such as “vague suspicion,” “implacable” and “highly wrought trial.” These combinations are very important to the review because they portray a symbol of the horrors of McCarthyism.
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