Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Mood and Tone

voiceMood vs Tone

Tone and Mood are literary elements integrated in literary works. Identifying the tone and mood in literatures is an important clue to discover the literary’s theme. Considering how the author creates a tone and mood helps the reader understand and appreciate the author’s style.

Tone is a manner, a feeling or atmosphere the author has meant to set in the story, or towards a subject. It can also be considered as the attitude or feeling of the writer towards a subject. The tone can be revealed by the author’s choice of words and details. The author may use a negative or positive tone for his work. Some possible adjectives to describe a tone, are seriousness, bitterness, joyful, humorous, amusing, angry, ironic, suspicious, and many more.

The following are some examples of ‘tone’ in sentences:

a. I’d rather stay here and wait, than go into that dark room.

The sentence above imposes that the person is scared.

b. The sun is shining brightly in the meadow, let’s go out and play!

The sentence above imposes that the person is happy or excited.

c. I called my friend at their house, her brother said she’s not home, but I heard her voice come on the line.

The sentence imposes that the person is suspicious.

Mood is the feeling or atmosphere perceived by the reader. It is the emotions you feel while reading. The mood indicates a prevailing feeling, or frame of mind, especially at the start of the story. It creates a sense of expectation to readers of what is to follow. All the choices for setting, images, objects and details contribute in creating a mood.

The following are some examples of ‘mood’ in sentences:

a. The night was dark and stormy.

The sentence gives you a scary ‘mood’.

b. The man kicked and threw the poor cat out of his house.

The sentence gives you a feeling of anger, or pity towards the cat.

c. There was plenty of food, and the music was playing. Everybody was having a good time.

The sentence gives you a mood of happiness and fun.

Summary:

Tone simply refers to how the author feels towards the subject, or towards something. You will know what the author’s tone is implying by the words he uses.

While ‘mood’, refers to the feeling of the atmosphere the author is describing. It is what the author makes you feel when you read his writings. You can read a sentence, and feel sad, happy or angry.


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3 Comments

  1. How does the reader know whether the tone or the mood is being conveyed by the story?

  2. This answer is misleading. As a published novelist, I can say categorically that the tone of a story or poem tells you nothing about how the author feels about anything. It may tell you something about the attitude expressed in the narrative voice the author employs. Authors often go out of their way to express feelings or opinions or attitudes that are not their own.

    For example:
    “The world was bright and everything was just as it was meant to be,”more likely gives a point of view that is different from the author’s but that the author invents in order to develop character, plot or theme. It is generally a waste of time to try to deduce what an author feels. The question is not what the author intends (this, in fact, can never be known; authors themselves often obfuscate their intentions or simply can’t articulate them.) The more important and answerable question is, “what does the text express?’

    Fiction is often confused with memoir. This pitfall should be resolutely avoided by educators. It impedes comprehension.

  3. I like this very much thank you very much

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