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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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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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 | Student , Grade 10 | eNoter

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 | Student , Grade 12 | eNoter

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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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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