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What is the mood of a story?

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jhazmhine | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 26, 2009 at 4:18 PM via web

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What is the mood of a story?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 27, 2009 at 2:39 AM (Answer #1)

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If the question is regarding how to find or discover the mood in the story, there are some steps that can be taken to effectively determine this.  One way to "read" this is to examine the level of narration and how the story unfolds.  Oftentimes, the author will be deliberate in attempting to convey a mood to the reader through word choice, descriptive language, and also the manner in which the story is explained.  For example, the narration schematic of Holden Caulfield, in Catcher in the Rye helps to illuminate how he sees the world and the mood of his narration.   At the same time, the mood of a story can be conveyed through setting elements.  For example, Shakespeare's MacBeth uses a great deal of the theory of correspondence, where natural weather conditions helps to bring a great deal of light on the thematic elements of the story.  Sometimes, the mood can be expressed through characters themselves, especially in their physical description.  In Rushdie's Midnight's Children, Saleem Sinai is described in extreme detail, especially his nose and the powers of smell (and nasal drainage) he possesses.  This helps to illuminate the idea of Saleem's magical powers as a child of midnight and also helps to bring out the mood of the pain in Partition, where the Indian subcontinent was divided as eyes (Bangladesh and Pakistan), nose (India), and nasal release (Sri Lanka).  Sometimes, authors will convey the mood of the story in these types of manners.  If trying to determine the mood, pay special attention to the "hints" the author gives.

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kathynichols | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted December 2, 2009 at 10:34 AM (Answer #2)

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One of the first authors to recognize the importance of mood in a short story was Poe. He thought it was so important that he theorized that a short story should create one over-reaching mood. Read "The Black Cat" or "The Tell-Tale Heart" and notice how Poe uses language to create a mood of horror, terror, and irrationality.

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mimerajver | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted May 20, 2012 at 1:52 AM (Answer #3)

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The mood of a story is the atmosphere that the writer creates in order to arouse a specific emotional response in the reader.

In order to achieve the desired atmosphere, authors resort to various combinations of elements such as setting -the description of the place and time in which the story takes place, for example- and tone -the author's attitude to his subject matter and characters.

Besides descriptive adjectives and suitable verbs, figures of speech play a most important part in conveying mood. You will find that the most effective are similes and metaphors.

Let us have an example. In The Schopenhauer Cure, a novel about a psychiatrist that must cope with a terminal disease, Irvin Yalom writes, "Why rush to the exit door before closing time?" We know from previous paragraphs that Yalom is talking about death. Would the effect be the same on the reader if he had put it as "Why give up the joys of living before death reaches us?" Certainly not. His metaphor softens the anxiety of death and shows us that the character feels moderately optimistic at this stage of his disease. As the story develops, the character's discourse will take on darker hues, and the mood will consequently change.

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op1122 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 20, 2012 at 6:07 PM (Answer #5)

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Based on the describing info in the story so far, what is the vibe that is given off to you,the reader

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msnewbooklover | Student, Grade 9 | Honors

Posted May 23, 2012 at 2:29 PM (Answer #6)

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Mood is an emotional state or attitude.

Definitions
1. a state or quality of feeling at a particular time: What's the boss' mood today?
2. a distinctive emotional quality or character: The mood of the music was almost funereal.
3. a prevailing emotional tone or general attitude: the country's mood.
4. a frame of mind disposed or receptive, as to some activity or thing: I'm not in the mood to see a movie.
5. a state of sullenness, gloom, or bad temper (i.e. moody)
 
 




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Yojana_Thapa | TA , Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted January 30, 2014 at 4:10 PM (Answer #9)

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Mood is the atmosphere. We can know the mood by the setting and the tone that the author uses.

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thewanderlust878 | TA , Grade 12 | Honors

Posted April 6, 2014 at 9:18 PM (Answer #10)

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The mood of a story is the feeling and/or atmosphere that the author creates through details, characters, and setting. Usually these words include sights, sounds, smells, or other adjectives. Through these descriptive words the author paints a picture of mystery, peace, chaos, happiness, sadness, etc. This is different from tone, which is the author's specific attitude towards the story. 

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zumba96 | TA , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted April 30, 2014 at 4:04 AM (Answer #11)

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A mood in a story is the feeling that a reader gets while reading the story. The feelings can be about happiness, sorrow, emotions, struggles or grief. It is a feeling that the author creates in writing to be understood by the reader.

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acompanioninthetardis | TA , Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted May 17, 2014 at 3:22 AM (Answer #12)

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A mood of the story is the feeling that the work creates in the reader, its the aura that it radiates. So for example, 

"the man's dark dreary gloves rested calmly on his throne of gold" this sentence creates a powerful and somewhat intimidating mood. 

    whereas

"the little bunny scrunched his nose and hopped along behind the little girl" creates an innocent/ calm and happy mood. 

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parama9000 | TA , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted May 31, 2014 at 3:24 PM (Answer #13)

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The mood is basically the atmosphere the writer wants you to imagine as the scene unfolds so as to evoke emotions in the reader.

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ik9744 | TA , Grade 9 | Valedictorian

Posted June 26, 2014 at 6:36 AM (Answer #14)

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The mood of a story is how the story feels. It's atmosphere of the story, if the mood of the book is happy or sad the book would be the mood.

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Wiggin42 | TA , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted June 29, 2014 at 5:54 PM (Answer #15)

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Its easy to confuse mood and tone. My teacher explained it as equating tone with characters and mood with setting. A character's actions and words sets the tone of a prose. The setting and atmosphere create the mood. Dark rolling clouds, thunder, and lighting in Frankenstein create a somber and evil mood. 

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udonbutterfly | TA , College Freshman | Valedictorian

Posted June 30, 2014 at 3:05 AM (Answer #16)

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The mood of the tory is basically the atmosphere of the story. Mostly how the books has made you feel as the reader. For example, if the setting described something such as "smooth snow plastered everywhere with bright lights dance in every which way and the smell of warm cookies drifting under your nose." This would prehaps create an atmosphere warmth and happiness.

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arrellbelle | TA , College Sophomore | Valedictorian

Posted June 30, 2014 at 11:33 PM (Answer #17)

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Mood is an element of literature. It is the author's way of creating an atmosphere within the store, whether it was anger or delight, and capturing the audience or reader emotionally or psychology. It helps for a reader to submerge themselves within the story when they can grasp the idea and feelings.

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crystaltu001 | TA , Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted July 6, 2014 at 7:43 AM (Answer #18)

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The mood is the atmosphere of the story and how the story feels

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maria-vivanco | TA , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted July 28, 2014 at 10:42 PM (Answer #19)

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A mood of a story is how the plot unravels and how to narration is portrayed. its the emotion it conveys. For example, a depressing story about someone dying can have a sad mood if the narrator is conveying that emotion. 

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atyourservice | TA , Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted August 15, 2014 at 6:05 PM (Answer #20)

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The mood of a story is the atmosphere that the writer creates by using specific words. For example the mood of the story could be sad, or happy.

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tema09 | eNoter

Posted September 27, 2009 at 2:02 AM (Answer #8)

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It's basically the atmosphere in the story..such as having a happy mood and at the end its a sad mood. Basicallyits the feelings the author creates in his/her writings.

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