Guide to Literary Terms

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Please describe these words pertaining to literature: voice, mood, tone, and theme.

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I'll give you a quick definition of each of these:

  • voice:  a vague term that is used to describe the specific features of a written work and how its told; the characteristics displayed by the narrator or speaker: usually analyzed in terms of tone, style, or personality.  Not to be confused with point-if-view.
  • mood:  the emotional aura invoked by a work, synonymous with atmosphere.
  • tone:  the speaker's attitude toward his/her subject.
  • theme:  an abstract idea that emerges from a work; the ideas revealed by a work.  Not to be confused with one-livers that tell a reader how to live.  

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