Tone Word-Nonplussed

Definition: To be nonplussed is to be distracted by a shocking occurrence that makes one feel uncertain on what one should do. Being nonplussed may also mean to be bewildered by a surprising event. Being nonplussed can also cause someone to be in a state of hesitancy if one is very shocked or disturbed by the surprise.

Text: "He pressed the trigger and there was a loud report accompanied by the wail of his wives and children. He threw down the gun and jumped into the barn, and there lay the woman, very much shaken and frightened but quite unhurt." -Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe, Page 39

This text depicts a situation in which the characters are nonplussed. Okonkwo outrageously, and without warning, shoots his gun towards his wife, causing his other wives and children to become shocked and confused. The children and wives just "la[id]" there because they didn't know what to do since Okonkwo's actions were very surprising.