Mood of a literary work refers to the atmosphere or "emotional setting" of the text. Writers create the mood of the text through many devices. Most notably, the use of language and description can help to create the mood of the text.
A depressing, melancholy mood is created in Bronte's Wuthering Heights:
There was no moon, and everything beneath lay in misty darkness: not a light gleamed from any house, far or near all had been extinguished long ago: and those at Wuthering Heights were never visible-still she asserted she caught their shining.
A reflective, resigned mood is created in "A Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost:
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
The first two stanzas of "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe are hopeful and loving, and then when he begins to describe the death of Annabel Lee, the mood changes to haunted, but still hopeful. The speaker is not dejected because he believes that his love transcends death:
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee-
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
Coveted her and me...
The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!-that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
Literary Terms Examples