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Tone or Interpretation?
@carlatortelli Most of the interpretation for poetry is up to the reader. If they wanted to guide us more clearly, they would've written a book. Poems are used to tug at emotions and essentially are a literary puzzle. We only have several lines to go off of and that's it. Therefore, it is up to the reader to reach a conclusion. The poet hides the clues, the reader goes and finds them.
The tone has a huge difference in the way literature is interpreted. Within the poem 'Cut' we heard how much contrast can happen when the tone is changed. Changing the tone in 'Cut' to a psychotic tone, we saw how much creepier the poem came. We also learned how background knowledge can impact our interpretation. Before reading Flatland, I researched the author, learned what he studied, what time period it was written in, etc. After doing that, I can a greater understanding of him, and why there were so many math references.
@siennamuscat742 Totally agree with all of your points. Having context can give us a much better insight into what our author wants us to get at. However, punctuation can give us a clue as to what tone is the "correct" one. There is no exclamation point throughout "Cut" which would negate the "psychotic" tone Chisnell attempted to read to us. Flatland definitely benefits once you understand who and what Abbott is as Flatland covers several topics that he has a strong belief in.
@stella I agree with this. Searching too hard for "hidden meanings" can tamper with the analyzing of the piece. If the reader is too focused on finding a secret meaning in the piece, they are likely to miss out on the details of the author's intended main idea. It can be a little toxic to adorn them with that name.
@delphine exactly what I was getting at, I agree with a lot of the responses I see but there is a sturdy middle ground I feel like a lot of us readers fail to find. We either get caught up with conspiracy or we are too closed minded to see any other meaning. I think each story has it's fair share of both and these elements must be balanced in a book.
@delphine that's a great way of looking at it, and I feel the same way. If we are trying too hard to find something that isn't really there, then what is the point of searching? When we read a poem, for example, the meaning could be right there in the words, but we could skip right over it just because of the way we are interpreting the text. I think sometimes it is appropriate to come up with your own interpretation, but you should understand the authors first, so you can get a better context of what is going on in the story.
@delphine I agree. It's important to find the hidden meaning in poems, but when it goes too far and distracts you from the true meaning of the poem then it is useless. I notice that when I over analyze poems I am more confused than I was from the start of the poem.
Tone is a huge deal in all literature. It is an additional component that can add value and meaning to a piece of work. By recognizing tone you can acknowledge an author's feelings towards the topics they are discussing and any argument they are making. Additionally, tone is something that makes an author unique to their own work and provides a similarity amongst their various pieces of work. Finally, tone can help find a hidden meaning but not always. There can always be a hidden meaning to a piece of literature but the readers play the role of interpreting what it is to them.
@bunkymoo Yes! Relating back to historicism, context is so so important when reading. Like I said earlier, it is beneficial to create your own interpretations, but you must have some context to the way the author wishes you to interpret first.
As I consider the impact that tone has on interpretation in terms of poetry, it is clear to me that poetry is just like "normal" (for lack of a better adjective) literature. As we know from previous forums, readers can interpret literature in many ways. When we read the children's book, we searched for hidden metaphors and messages. We can do the same thing when applying different tones to poetry. With the poem "Cut" that we read in class, a shift in tone turned the poem from relaxed and nonchalant to psychotic and creepy. Different tones can most certainly lead to many different interpretations.
I sometimes wonder how people living in/from different countries interpret the same things we read. Different countries have differing perspectives on things due to the social climate of their environment. If I were to read about a topic that was strongly supported or criticized in the US, I would want to know what other areas in the world interpret the reading in the opposing way.
The tone has a huge difference in the way literature is interpreted. Within the poem 'Cut' we heard how much contrast can happen when the tone is changed. Changing the tone in 'Cut' to a psychotic tone, we saw how much creepier the poem came. We also learned how background knowledge can impact our interpretation. Before reading Flatland, I researched the author, learned what he studied, what time period it was written in, etc. After doing that, I can a greater understanding of him, and why there were so many math references. Having context can give us a better insight into what our author wants us to get at. However, punctuation can give us a clue as to what tone is the "correct" one. There is no exclamation point throughout "Cut" which would negate the "psychotic" tone. Flatland definitely benefits once you understand who and what Abbott is as Flatland.
@aaparrot I don't entirely agree with you here. I don't think that poetry is really all that different than prose. It definitely has a different way of presenting information- poetry is more decorated and expressive, playing to the audience's feelings, as you said- but it can lead the reader to an intended meaning just as much as any piece of prose can. Any writer runs the risk of their audience pulling a different meaning from their work than they intended. Just because there is often less words in a poem doesn't mean the intention of the poet is any less important. That doesn't mean that interpretations of a piece of writing that differ from the author or poet aren't important either, but both are important to get the most out of a poem or piece of prose. I agree with what you said that the poet includes clues for the audience to find. The clues hint at the author's intent, and it is up to the reader to find out, "What is he/she saying here? And what do I think of that?" Which, again, is what we do with any piece of writing.
@a2m0n2 I also wonder the same! It's so interesting to think about how someone from a different country interprets a reading compared to someone from another country. This is often present not only in literature but even in songs from what I've seen - it's difficult to translate something directly, so people from another country will end up interpreting something differently than someone else, even if it's just the smallest difference between translations. Furthermore, every single person from that country can also interpret that translation a different way individualized to their own mindset and perspectives, opening up yet another gateway to an almost infinite amount of interpretations!
Tone plays an important part in literature. Understanding the author's tone can make a huge impact, as we saw in the poem, 'Cut'. Tone further expresses the author's attitude and emotions. It adds a better context to the author's work and provides more value. Acknowledging the author's tone can provide more meaning to the work's theme. Interpretation is also a huge component, without interpreting the author's tone, we would have less context going forward with the reading.
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