Guide to Literary Terms

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Mood

Mood is what makes readers feel an emotional attachment to what they are reading. The mood of a piece expresses internal feelings, not the feeling of a place—that’s atmosphere.

  • "Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
    And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had sought to borrow
    From my books surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the lost Lenore —
    For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore —
    Nameless here for evermore."

    • Edgar Allan Poe does a very effective job of creating mood for readers, as seen in this stanza of "The Raven."