DiscussTwain’s tone in this passage iscontemptuous and sarcastic.Central to the tone is Twain’sattitude towards the subject:Cooper’s writing, which hefinds inconsistent andirresponsible.
DiscussTwain creates his tone through diction and selection ofdetail. He criticizes Cooper and states, “but that isCooper’s way,” generalizing the criticism. He accusesCooper of “shirk”[ing] difficulties in writing. He callsHawkeye that “astute and cautious person,” then shows himto be “heedless.” Through detail he contrasts Hawkeye’sreputation as a character (astute and cautious) withHawkeye’s careless actions:Hawkeye [throws] his rifle heedlessly down andleave[s] it lying on the ground where some hostileIndians would presently be sure to find it— arifle prized by that person above all things in theearth.