What is Mood and Tone in Literature?
Authors use language and word choice to convey a certain style, tone, and mood in a piece of literature. When an author writes, he or she uses a style appropriate to the purpose of the text, but also uses language in a way that sets him or her apart. Tone is the author’s attitude toward the subject and mood is the feeling the work invokes in the reader. Authors use their own personal style, their attitude toward the subject, and the mood they create to help craft their stories. Style, tone, and mood all contribute to the effect of a text. As readers, we know there is a difference between a serious or humorous piece. Let’s look at some classic examples of different tones and style:
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door –
Only this, and nothing more.”
THE RAVEN -Edgar Allen Poe
Pleasant is a rainy winter’s day, within doors!
The best study for such a day, or the best amusement,
—call it which you will,—is a book of travels, describing
scenes the most unlike that sombre one, which is mistily
presented through the windows.
BENEATH THE UMBRELLA – Nathanial Hawthorne
Do you feel different moods in those pieces? You should, the style and tones the writers are putting into their work are very different from one another.
I hope that helps. Thanks for watching this Video Lesson. Until next time, happy studying!