From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Analysis: Tone

Take a story's temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?

Wryly comic yet sympathetic

Forster is a real master of deadpan wit. He’s often laugh-out-loud funny, but never in a tasteless or over the top way; often, his humor has the appearance of deadly seriousness, which makes it all the more funny. His description of the Catholic “he-babies” and “she-baby” blessing themselves at Machiavelli’s monument in Santa Croce makes us weep with laughter every time. However, while we can laugh endlessly at the words and actions of his characters, we are always sympathetic to them – there is something so human about the way the narrator interacts even with the most ridiculous of characters. It’s telling that we even feel twinges of sympathy – or something like it – thinking of Cecil sometimes, despite the fact that he’s not exactly the most endearing of gentlemen (even if he is often unintentionally hilarious).

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...