Contrasting Tone in Legal Alien and Mexicans Begin Jogging

If someone were to tell me that Pat Mora’s tone in Legal Alien was exactly the same as Gary Soto’s in Mexicans Begin Jogging, I would disprove that by defining “tone” and “exactly”, referencing the authors’ backgrounds, and contrasting specific diction between poems. Soto and Mora are Mexican-Americans, which influences the similar subject of their literature. Tone can be inferred from a piece’s imagery and articulation. Although they are of similar context, the tone of Legal Alien and Mexicans Begin Jogging differ.

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Tone is the literary technique used by an author to communicate a feeling or attitude toward the subject he is writing about. Fortune has never made the writers our acquaintance, nor have they acquainted us with their explicit attitudes. I know it is difficult to identify the tone in these literatures because we cannot hear the authors’ words as they intended them to be read. Keeping all of this in mind, we understand that finding the writers’ tone is an assumption. Concisely, an assumption is a relative antonym of the term exactly.

The birthplaces of Gary Soto and Pat Mora are nearly one thousand five hundred kilometers apart. In further study of Legal Alien and Mexicans Begin Jogging, both authors stated that culture motivated those writings. Reviewing, we know that Gary and Pat were raised in distant American communities and share a Mexican descent. Understand that there are more than thirty million Mexican descendants in America and over one hundred million people living in Mexico! Demographically, these authors’ political, economical, and social experiences are diverse. Legal Alien and Mexicans Begin Jogging were motivated by culture; a particular set of attitudes that characterize a group is culture; tone is a writer’s attitude toward their subject.

Before I finish, we can directly compare the speakers’ choice of words to contrast the poems’ tone. Soto’s poem, lines 17-19 say: “What could I do but yell vivas / To baseball, milkshakes, and those sociologists / Who would clock me”. I would describe his tone here as amused. The poem ends optimistically with lines 20-21: “As I jog into the next century / On the power of a great, silly grin”. Mora’s speaker also shows a grin, but expresses that by smiling she is “masking the discomfort / of being pre-judged”. Earlier in the poem, lines 9-11 say: “viewed by Anglos as perhaps exotic, / perhaps inferior, definitely different, / viewed by Mexicans as alien”. The tone is remarkably different, overall resentful. Diction clearly separates any similarity in the tone of these poems.

To put it briefly, Legal Alien and Mexicans Begin Jogging have unalike tone. Squabbling is fruitless for the terms of the statement were rectified, authors’ backgrounds considered, and poems’ diction compared. Gary Soto and Pat Mora are Mexican-American and write on similar subjects. Albeit their tone, these poems are still exciting, and I now appreciate them more.

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