Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

Mood: Definition, How It Works & Examples In Writing

Level up your digital marketing skills with our free courses, expert insights, forums, and social groups!

Check it Out

In real life, we can see mood plastered onto people’s faces due to their body language.

In writing, authors use various literary devices to invoke emotions in readers.

This article explains what a mood is, how it’s used in different writing forms, and the different types of moods, and explores some of the most notable examples of mood in literature.

What Is Mood?

Mood is a literary device that creates feelings for the readers.

A writer creates the mood through a story’s setting, tone, theme, and diction.

Also Known As:

Here are other terms that this literary device goes by:

  • Atmosphere
  • Emotions
  • Tone

Simple Definition: How To Explain Mood to a Child?

You can explain mood to a child as the emotions you’d feel while reading a story.

Why Is Mood Used?

Mood is used to draw the reader into the story.

Becoming a better writer and effectively using mood takes practice.

You must use mood to create an atmosphere that makes it impossible to stop turning the pages.

Types of Mood

There are different ways to create a specific atmosphere for readers.

So whether you’re trying to write a novel, a nonfiction piece, or a poem, the mood can help make your story more memorable.

Mood in Literature

Mood in literature uses multiple literary devices throughout a novel or story.

Sometimes, multiple moods are conveyed throughout a novel.

If a novel is part of the romantic genre, an author wants to make readers happy.

However, minor plot points in a romance novel may have saddening or hostile moments throughout the novel.

Mood in Writing

Nonfiction works also invoke a mood through writing.

Advertisements and speech are common types of written works that want to provide a mood.

Advertisements use a particular descriptive language that wants customers to be happy and buy their products.

Politicians use their words to create a certain feeling in the audience that pertains to their own agendas.

Mood in Poetry

Poems are known for having a significantly shorter word count than most stories and novels.

With that in mind, the author has less time to create the mood, and they want to get their point across more quickly.

Some poetry authors use multiple literary devices to convey a mood to readers since there’s less dialogue and words throughout the text.

How Do You Identify Mood?

You can identify mood by spotting the other literary devices throughout the work.

Setting is one of the first devices used in a story, and you can see a major atmosphere that surrounds the entire story.

You can also identify mood by looking at the genre of your written work.

For instance, if you’re reading a fairy tale, it’s likely to have a cheerful or light-hearted mood throughout the story.

How Do You Use Mood in a Sentence?

You use a sentence’s mood to ensure your reader feels certain emotions throughout the story.

So whether you’re writing a novel, poem, or short story, you need to remember the key elements of describing a mood: setting, dialogue, genre, plot, diction, and tone.

Many writers use AI story generators to enhance their writing.

However, this technique isn’t good for describing mood because AI story generators don’t do this well.

A brainstorming tool can’t depict mood with words like an author can.

What Is the Most Popular Example of Mood?

Authors use many famous examples to convey certain moods to the audience.

Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is famously known for its light-hearted language to set the mood for the audience.

As a result, every description of Wonderland depicts this overwhelmingly whimsical and fantastic place.

Alice is a young child that finds this magical place, and the reader experiences everything through her eyes.

So, while the mood is whimsical and delightful, it’s valid to say that the mood of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is innocent and childlike.

Lewis Carroll created a place that describes how children look at the world.

All children are joyful and interested in the world around them.

Alice is no different when she has a sense of wonderment about Wonderland.

Other Famous Examples of Mood

Fiction authors use various techniques to create an atmosphere on the pages of a book.

Depending on the point of view, you can get a glimpse into the character’s mind to understand how they see the world and contribute to the mood.

Here are some other famous examples of a mood:

Ulysses by Alfred Tennyson’s

Alfred Tennyson’s Ulysses establishes the gloomy and melancholy mood at the poem’s beginning, using setting and diction.

The poem is from the protagonist’s perspective, reflecting on his life now that he’s an older man.

Tennyson’s diction negatively describes himself, his wife, and the people around him.

He claims that people don’t know him as a person, and it causes the reader to feel sorry for the protagonist as he’s old and doesn’t have much time left to right these wrongs.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

On the surface, Slaughterhouse-Five maintains an unemotional and nonchalant tone.

However, this differs from the overall mood of the novel.

Through the detached feelings of war, the mood of Slaughterhouse-Five demonstrates the melancholic and tragic emotions that readers feel when reading about war.

The protagonist travels into the past, and the readers see the violence and destruction that follows a war.

It provokes a powerful and frightening mood, even though the main character doesn’t explicitly feel those same emotions.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The overall feeling of The Great Gatsby is tragic.

This feeling leads to a dark and pessimistic mood.

Jay Gatsby spends most of his life chasing after material objects and becoming financially wealthy.

He has this underlying feeling that if he’s rich and successful, he can win back Daisy, the love of his life.

Jay Gatsby is a sad and tragic character, making the reader feel solemn by the novel’s end.

Jay Gatsby’s life ends with nothing meaningful or valuable because his wealth doesn’t stop him from dying alone, thinking he didn’t accomplish what he set out to.

Other Modern Examples of Mood

Here are a few more examples of mood that you might recognize:

Examples of Mood for Kids

Some of the best and most cheerful examples of mood for kids to help them understand this literary device include:

  • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie: innocence
  • Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers: cheerful
  • Disneyland: the happiest place on earth

Examples of Mood in Literature & Writing

Of course, you’re going to find mood written in literature.

In a novel, the mood helps to immerse the readers into a fictional world.

  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie: unsettling and fear
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare: death and grief
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad: suspenseful, disturbing, and eerie

Examples of Mood in Poetry

The mood in poetry is easily recognizable because most poems are written in short verses.

  • “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost: longing and loneliness
  • “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe: dark and paranoid
  • “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe: sadness and nostalgia

Notable Writers Who Used Mood

Writers create an entire atmosphere around their story to ensure readers connect to the conveyed feelings.

Here are some notable writers that use mood in their works:

Stephen King

Stephen King is known for creating a lot of suspense in his novels.

He wants the reader to feel as scared and uneasy as his characters feel.

This suspenseful and frightening mood is done by developing a frightening setting.

Stephen King is masterful at creating tension in the outside setting.

Then, through the setting, he inflicts that same tension into the feelings of his characters.

Edgar Allan Poe

Every written work by Edgar Allan Poe creates an increasingly terrifying mood in the reader and his characters.

He’s most famous for using imagery to invoke a sense of horror in his readers.

Edgar Allan Poe used the five senses to create madness and mystery.

He uses particular diction to show the dark and mysterious world that his characters are a part of.

It’s no secret that Edgar Allan Poe was a master at conjuring a dark, gloomy, and the eerie atmosphere sure to make readers feel uneasy.

William Shakespeare

Many Shakespearean sonnets create a loving and affectionate atmosphere.

Many readers feel the loving and sentimental mood that William Shakespeare provokes in the way he describes his eternal passion for his beloved.

“Sonnet 18” is the most famous Shakespearean sonnet that produces a loving mood in readers.

He uses the five senses and states that for as long as he can breathe and see, he’ll love this one woman.

What Is the Opposite of Mood?

The opposite of mood is tone.

While mood is the reader’s overall experience, tone is the feeling or attitude that reflects how a character feels.

Mood vs. Tone

Mood is explicitly described throughout literary works.

The audience reads specific scenes, and through the words, they can feel the sad or joyful mood that the author’s trying to convey.

Writers influence the tone of the literary work by using figurative language, sentence structure, and word choice to convey the attitude and feelings of the characters.

Other Related Literary Devices to Know

If you’re interested in writing content, check out these storyboarding apps to design a story.

Then, use these related literary devices to add another layer of depth to your writing.

  • Theme: Theme is the moral message in a written text. It’s achieved through the use of characters, setting, dialogue, plot, or elements.
  • Diction: Diction is the word choice that a writer makes. This literary device develops voice and style in a piece of writing.
  • Imagery: Imagery uses descriptive language that allows readers to immerse themselves in the fictional world the author has built.
  • Metaphor: Metaphor is a literary device that compares one thing to another. This literary device describes something in a non-literal way.
  • Hyperbole: Hyperbole is an exaggeration used to prove a point, but it’s not meant to be taken literally.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have questions about this literary device?

Then, we have the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions to further help you understand the meaning of mood.

What are common types of moods?

Here are some of the most common moods found in literature:


Wrapping Up

No matter what you write, you can use mood to articulate your ideas, bring your imagination to life, create a specific atmosphere, and connect with your reader’s emotions.

Good mood allows a writer to be concise, helping convey thoughts using multiple literary devices to ensure the readers feel specific emotions while reading.

With that in mind, ensure your descriptive language isn’t challenging to understand, as the best mood is accessible to all.

Leave a Comment