Analysis Pages

Tone in The Were-Wolf

Tone Examples in The Were-Wolf:

The Were-Wolf

🔒 9

"aunched herself upon him with a spring like a wild beast when it leaps to kill...."   (The Were-Wolf)

White Fell’s wolfish nature is explicitly suggested here, when she attacks him just as an animal might to bring down its prey. The danger Christian is in intensifies even more as White Fell strikes.

"The blow was effectual enough even so; his right arm dropped powerless, gashed, and with the lesser bone broken..."   (The Were-Wolf)

First Christian’s left hand and now his right have been rendered useless by White Fell’s blows. He becomes even more desperate, as it seems unlikely than ever that he will be able to keep pace with her until midnight.

"But on Christian by now the strain was telling palpably...."   (The Were-Wolf)

The suspense is again increased here as Christian’s condition worsens. Now, Christian is increasingly operating on instinct rather than rationality as his body fails him. Only great love for his brother and an immense sense of loyalty keep him pressing on.

"like a flash with a beastly snarl, teeth and eyes gleaming again...."   (The Were-Wolf)

White Fell’s animal nature is again made prominent here, her femininity given way to beastly tendencies. The tension of the race increases as White Fell manages to deal a blow to Christian, suggesting that he may not be able to keep up with her for long.

"Then Christian saw and heard what shot him through with fear. ..."   (The Were-Wolf)

Until the point, the race has been fairly static; White Fell and Christian are both inhumanly fast and prove to be equal to each other. The introduction of a wolfpack following behind them increases the suspense of the scene by heightening the danger faced by Christian, since White Fell will likely not be affected or attacked by the wolves.

"Known danger could be braced, but not this stealthy Death that walked by day invisible, that cut off alike the child in his play and the aged woman so near to her quiet grave...."   (The Were-Wolf)

Here, White Fell is equated with Death. Because she is so elusive, the danger she poses is great, especially because not everyone believes her capable of cruelty. Notably, she appears to be indiscriminate in her choosing of victims, for she kills both the very old and very young. Because it is difficult to safeguard against so powerful an enemy, this creates more tension as the danger posed by White Fell increases.

"'Where shall my babe be lain?'..."   (The Were-Wolf)

Considering that the child Rol has disappeared from the home, the lyrics of this song are quite sinister and seem to describe the death of a child outside.

""Open, open; let me in!" piped the little voice from low down..."   (The Were-Wolf)

Although there has been some frightening imagery and comparisons, for the most part anything spooky is kept outside beyond the warmth of the family’s dwelling. However, the child’s voice signals the approach of something either totally harmless or completely terrifying, changing the story’s tone to one of uncertainty.

"The great farm hall was ablaze with the fire-light, and noisy with laughter and talk and many-sounding work...."   (The Were-Wolf)

The setting is welcoming and warm, alive with light and life. In general, the tone is inviting and happy as the family sits in companionable work. Readers are immediately beckoned into the space to revel in its sensory comforts.

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