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The Wonderful World of Tone!
Ambivalent

Definition: Showing simultaneous conflicting feelings

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of increduility, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way-- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."
~A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

     Charles Dickens' famous "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."speech in A Tale of Two Cities is world-renowned.  Dickens' choice of diction, imagery and repetition create the ambivalent tone.  By using a run-on sentence for the entire paragraph and repeating "it was", the conflicting statements of the piece are expressed.  Dickens uses imagery such as "the spring of hope" and "the winter of despair" to generate pictures in the reader's mind.  Dickens is sure of what he is implying, and draws the reader into the story with a medley of conflicting statements.

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Ambivalent | Amused | Compassionate | Delight | Despair | Didactic | Hopeful | Intimate | Joyful | Lamenting | Mournful | Nostalgic | Ominous | Passionate | Reverent | Scholarly | Tongue-In-Cheek | Whimsical

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