"Tone" is the author's attitude towads a particular theme or subject.
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The gender differences that Hurston espouses require that men and women provide each other things that they need but do not possess. Janie views fulfilling relationships as reciprocal and based on mutual respect, as demonstrated in her relationship with Tea Cake, which elevates Janie into equality noticeably absent from her marriages to Logan and Jody. The struggle for love, at least for our protagonist, has to be self-affirming. It remains elusive for much of the novel but always exists in the subtleties beneath both the plot and characters.