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Mood

Mood is another word for the atmosphere of a play, poem, short story, or novel. Authors use character descriptions, setting and dialogue to create mood. Although sometimes the atmosphere created at the beginning of a story remains until the end, it often changes at some point in the text. A good example is the play, An Inspector Calls, in which the mood changes drastically during the first act.

Practise your ability to understand and name different moods with this quiz.

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  1. Choose the word which most nearly captures the mood of the quotation.

    'I am never neglecting my responsibility, / I am discharging it properly, / I am doing my duty, / But who is appreciating / Nobody, I am telling you. / My desk is too small, / the fan is not repaired for two months, / three months. / I am living far off in Borivali, / My children are neglecting studies, / How long this can go on?' -- From Nissam Ezekial's poem, 'The Railway Clerk'
    The mood of this poem is indignant - how can anyone be expected to put up with such unjust treatment? The narrator's tone is despairing
  2. Choose the word which most nearly captures the mood of the quotation.

    'Frail the white rose and frail are / Her hands that gave / Whose soul is sere and paler / Than time's wan wave.' -- From James Joyce's poem, 'A Flower Given to My Daughter'.
    The use of the words 'frail', 'sere' and 'paler' add a touch of sorrow to the image of the daughter with the beautiful white rose. The combination creates a meditative mood
  3. Choose the word which most nearly captures the mood of the quotation.

    '"Thought I heard something," he said. "Stop a minute."
    We stopped.
    "Hear anything?" he asked.
    "No."
    We had not gone five paces before he made me stop again.
    "Jem, are you tryin' to scare me? You know I'm too old --"
    "Be quiet," he said, and I knew he was not joking.'
    -- From Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird
    There will usually be more than one word appropriate to the mood
  4. Choose the word which most nearly captures the mood of the quotation.

    MRS. BIRLING: (agitated) I don't believe it. I won't believe it...
    SHEILA: Mother - I begged you and begged you to stop -
    INSPECTOR holds up a hand. We hear the front door. They wait, looking towards door. ERIC enters, looking extremely pale and distressed. He meets their inquiring stares. Curtain falls quickly.
    -- From J.B. Priestley's play,An Inspector Calls
    The celebratory mood at the beginning of the first act does not survive the appearance of the Inspector
  5. Choose the word which most nearly captures the mood of the quotation.

    BIRLING: What I did want to say was - that Sheila's a lucky girl - and I think you're a pretty fortunate young man too, Gerald.
    GERALD: I know I am - this once anyhow.
    BIRLING: (raising his glass) So here's wishing the pair of you - the very best that life can bring. Gerald and Sheila.
    -- From J.B. Priestley's play, An Inspector Calls.
  6. Choose the word which most nearly captures the mood of the quotation.

    'But there was a cry on the hearth: the child had awakened, and Marner stooped to lift it on his knee. It clung round his neck, and burst louder and louder into that mingling of inarticulate cries with "mammy" by which little children express the bewilderment of waking. Silas pressed it to him, and almost unconsciously uttered sounds of hushing tenderness, while he bethought himself that some of his porridge, which had got cool by the dying fire, would do to feed the child with if it were only warmed up a little.' -- From George Eliot's novel, Silas Marner
  7. Choose the word which most nearly captures the mood of the quotation.

    'The evening had caught cold; / Its eyes were blurred. / It had a dripping nose / And its tongue was furred.' - From Vernon Scannell's poem, 'November Story'.
  8. Choose the word which most nearly captures the mood of the quotation.

    'A far rush of wind sounded and a gust drove through the tops of the trees like a wave. The sycamore leaves turned up their silver sides, the brown, dry leaves on the ground scudded a few feet. And row on row of tiny wind waves flowed up the pool's green surface.' -- From John Steinbeck's novel, Of Mice and Men.
    There is a sense of something approaching with the wind
  9. Choose the word which most nearly captures the mood of the quotation.

    OLD MAN: Threescore and ten I can remember well; within the volume of which time I have seen hours dreadful, and things strange, but this sore night hath trifled former knowings.
    ROSSE: Ah! Good father, thou seest, the heavens, as troubled with man's act, threaten his bloody stage: by the clock 't is day, and yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp.
    -- From William Shakepeare's play, Macbeth
  10. Choose the word which most nearly captures the mood of the quotation.

    'Here is the ancient floor / Footworn and hollowed and thin, / Here was the former door / Where the dead feet walked in. / She sat here in her chair, / Smiling into the fire; / He who played stood there, / Bowing it higher and higher.' -- From Thomas Hardy's poem, 'The Self-Unseeing'.
    The imagery of the woman smiling and the man playing reinforces the sense of loss - these are the good moments which have gone forever

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