Study Guide

Gore Vidal Writing Styles in United States: Essays 1952-1992

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Tone

Vidal's tone in this collection of essays runs the full gamut from sarcastic to satirical to despondent to exuberant. For example, in "Book Report" he assumes the voice and persona of a middle-aged woman describing a book to her peers in a "book club" reading group. His depiction of the unsophisticated, child-like mind of this woman is both revealing of literacy levels in the United States, and hilarious. When he describes the "Hacks of Academe," those English professors who write novels and review each other's writings in a kind of cottage industry, his tone is sarcastic. When Vidal traces the lines of power in what he calls the "American Empire," his tone is satirical and sometimes even bitter with the realization of how the existence of this elite contrasts with our ideals of freedom and equality.

Often there is a...

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This section contains 391 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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