What is the mood of the story and how can you support the mood?

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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The mood of a piece refers to the feelings a writer attempts to create in his or her reader through the words he or she chooses.  In the case of The Devil and Tom Walker, the setting of the swamp as the home of the Devil himself creates a feeling of mystery that later evolves into feelings of eerieness and/or fear on the part of the reader.  The images of a swamp:  dark, even at noon, filthy, rotting, musty--certainly these images are not meant to convey a story of childhood joy or uplifting redemption.  The Devil and Tom Walker would be a much different story if set in a tree-lined park in an affluent suburb during the present day.  Mood is not something that happens by accident, but is something an author works to create using specific word choice.