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The Advantage of Tone to Develop Understanding

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The essays “Don’t you think it’s time to start thinking?”, “I’m not racist but…” and “Hidden Lessons” all speak upon diverse issues and their influences on society. Northrop Frye, Neil Bissoondath, and David Suzuki discuss different matters throughout their essays, however, one of the most outstanding aspects of their pieces is the critical tone they portray towards society. They identify fault within society for the outcomes of the issues that they develop and search for a solution inclusively.

In particular, Frye’s “Don’t You Think It’s Time To Start Thinking?” possesses a critical tone towards teachers for being unable to teach their students about the importance of literacy, causing them to lack the skill of good thinking. He describes how students do not grasp the importance of their thoughts as, “The vast majority of things that we hear today are prejudices and cliches, simply verbal formulas that have no thought behind them but are put up as a pretence of thinking. It is not until we realize these things conceal meaning, rather than reveal it…” (Frye 1). Frye describes that students are not educated about the importance of being literate and the amount of power literacy has when articulating an individual’s ideas.

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Likewise, Bissoondath criticizes how the society makes the word ‘racism’ so vulnerable and easy to manipulate in his essay “I’m Not Racist But..”. He establishes that the word ‘racist’ has become a familiar term that individuals use, which causes them to grow insensitive to its meaning,“Someone recently said that racism is as Canadian as maple syrup.” (Bissoondath 1). The use of this simile assists in supporting Bissoondath’s judgmental tone towards the increased flexibility of the term ‘racism’ and detects fault in society for redefining the use of ‘racism’. He not only speaks adversely about the stereotypical statements that are easily made by society, but also wants readers to think of what ‘racism’ means as he discusses it throughout the essay.

Then again, in “Hidden Lessons”, Suzuki comes to believe that raising children in an urban setting causes them to sever their connection with nature. He examines how parents are not raising their children to respect and admire the beauty of nature while in these settings: “Those of us who are parents have to realize the unspoken, negative lessons we are conveying to our children.” (Suzuki 1). Suzuki uses negative diction to emphasize the disastrous impact they have on the youth with their hidden lessons and calls out parents for their mistake. He aspires to encourage parents within society to pay close attention to their actions and set a prime example when around children since they learn from the gestures of those around them.

The authors Frye, Bissoondath, and Suzuki all touch on crucial issues enclosed by society that need to be resolved. They employ a critical tone within their essays “Don’t you think it’s time to start thinking?”, “I’m not racist but…”, and “Hidden Lessons” to shed light upon the various issues in society. The use of a condemning tone helps the authors articulate their ideas to appeal to readers and signify their point of view. Ultimately, the subjective tone used not only allows readers to recognize the author’s point of view, but shapes a different outlook on the issue to develop a better understanding of what changes need to be made for a more decent future.


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