What is the mood in the beginning of the story in "A Christmas Memory"?

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gbeatty eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the very beginning, the mood is analytical, but sympathetic, as if memories were being examined. The analytical side of the mood comes from the hypothetical suggestions in the first lines: "Imagine a morning…" "Consider the kitchen…" Capote doesn’t put us there immediately; he methodically invites us in. The scene he evokes then suggests sympathy for the characters through the details of the description: " A woman with shorn white hair is standing at the kitchen window. She is wearing tennis shoes and a shapeless gray sweater over a summery calico dress. She is small and sprightly, like a bantam hen; but, due to a long youthful illness, her shoulders are pitifully hunched." That's very specific, and we have reason to pity her, but the distance keeps us somewhat uninvolved.

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A Christmas Memory

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