Study Guide

Common Sense Tone

By Thomas Paine

Tone

Supremely Confident

Thomas Paine wants you to feel like an idiot if you disagree with him. For him, there can be no nuance when it comes to fighting the British. As he states in blunt terms, "O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth!" (3.53).

The idea here is to read this and think, "Me! Me! I love mankind!" and generally feel patted on the back whenever you agree with Paine and kinda sheepish whenever you don't. For Paine, anyone who doesn't support war with the British is a freedom-hater and a total jerk. This is a massively effective tone to use when inciting patriotic passion.

It's also probably a pretty effective tone to use in a lot of situations. Maybe the next time you need someone to loan you twenty bucks, you can say "Oh ye that love mankind! Ye that dare loan me, not only ten dollars, but twenty, stand forth!"

You'll either a) get twenty bucks or b) get some weird looks. Worth a shot in either case, in our humble opinion.

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