What is the literary definition of mood?

The literary definition of mood is the emotion a literary work elicits in its reader or audience.

Mood

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Updated on September 27, 2021, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 132

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. Mood is connected to—but not the same as—tone, which is the author's attitude towards the subject matter.

"Ah, distinctly I remember...

(The entire section contains 132 words.)

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this Guide to Literary Terms study guide. You'll get access to all of the Guide to Literary Terms content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

  • Introduction
  • Complete Index
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

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. Mood is connected to—but not the same as—tone, which is the author's attitude towards the subject matter.

"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."

Explore all literary terms.

Illustration of PDF document

Download Guide to Literary Terms Study Guide

Subscribe Now
Previous

Morality Play

Next

Myth