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Tone Analysis: "A Dream Within a Dream"


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student-written models for tone analysis of Poe's "A Dream Within a Dream"

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Tone Analysis: "A Dream Within a Dream"

  1. 1. Analyzing Tone<br />Student Model Responses<br />
  2. 2. A Dream Within a Dream<br />Explain the tone and the main idea of the poem. Give three details from the poem to support your response.<br />
  3. 3.
  4. 4. Tips for a Grade a Response <br /><ul><li>Explain the main idea—the meaning of the poem.
  5. 5. Explain the tone.
  6. 6. As you explain, list specific details from the poem that support your explanation.</li></li></ul><li>Avoid<br /><ul><li>Listing details without explaining how they relate to your explanation of tone or meaning.
  7. 7. Giving fewer than 3 details to support your explanation.</li></li></ul><li>Edgar Allen Poe’s tone in A Dream within a Dream is very depressing. In this poem, both stanzas describe that life slips away from us like a long lost lover or a fistful of sand “creeping “through fingers.” Little by little life slips away from us like the sand. He is secretly telling us that life is precious and that we should try to hold on to it, but sometimes, death comes upon us like the surf and takes the sand of our life away with it. Poe also describes to us that, to him perhaps, that life is just a dream and death is an awakening. Poe says that, if we’re lucky, we will be remembered when we die. Otherwise the dark wave of death will come and wash away our sand, the memories and elements of our past life.<br />
  8. 8. The tone of this poem is distressed.  One example of this is the stanza, “While I weep—while I weep! O God!” Poe’s distress is evident when he begins to realize that his life will be like a dream when he dies, and no one will really remember how he lived or what he lived for. The “grains of sand creeping through his fingers” symbolizes his time on Earth slipping away. When he cries out to God, he is helpless, his yearning for understanding of his life is shown. In this poem, Hope is considered like an object instead of an idea. When his “friend” Hope leaves him, he is lost.<br />