Mood is the way a person is feeling at any particular time. A mood is also the emotional quality of literature, music, or other expressive arts.
A mood is less specific than an emotion or feeling, less intense and less likely to be triggered by a particular action or event. Moods are typically described as being either positive or negative. Here are some examples of common moods:
Moods and Descriptions
Here are some other moods with a short description:
- Afraid: Feeling regret, apprehension or fear
- Ashamed: Having guilt or feeling disgraced or distressed
- Cautious: This means slow to act, wary, or careful
- Clueless: Not understanding or knowing
- Confused: Not being able to think rationally or clearly
- Determined: Persistent, stubborn, or resolved
- Devastated: A feeling of shock where you are overcome and distressed
- Disgruntled: Feeling dissatisfied, sulky, discontented or unhappy
- Empowered: Feeling you have the power or ability to act
- Hyper: nervous, extremely excitable or jumpy
- Jealous: This is a feeling of resentment towards another for what you consider to underserved wealth, favor, or success
- Moody: This refers to any feelings that are depressed, despondent or sullen
- Numb: This is a lack of feeling or emotions where you are indifferent
- Paranoid: Feeling strong distrust or fear of others
- Relaxed: This is feeling calm and serene, where nothing disturbs you.
- Traumatized: This is a strong reaction to something that happened, either emotional or physical. The feeling continues long after the initial shock.
- Vibrant: Having a lot of enthusiasm, being lively or vigorous
Moods in Literature
In literature, the mood is expressed with descriptive words. Here are some common moods in literature:
- Cheerful: This light-hearted happy mood is shown with descriptions of laughter, upbeat music, delicious smells, and bright colors.
- Humorous: This mood is silly and sometimes ridiculous. Characters will do and say odd or funny things. This mood is sometimes used to alleviate a somber or dangerous situation.
- Idyllic: This is a calm and peaceful feeling, and can sometimes be shown by describing a natural setting, like in the country. Here is an example from Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers:
"The river, reflecting the clear blue of the sky, glistened and sparkled as it flowed noiselessly on."
- Madness: This is a chaotic mood, where random things happen and the main character may feel out of control. There seems to be no reason for what is happening and the character may thing he is having hallucinations.
- Melancholy: This mood can be seem in the poem, "The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys
- Mysterious: In this mood, things are hidden and puzzling. The reader really doesn’t know what is going on, at least not for a while. Here’s an example from Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Raven":
"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary" or "And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain"
- Romantic: To set a romantic mood, the setting needs to be lovely, bright and carefree. This can be a candlelit dinner, a picnic on a beach, or sailing into the sunset.
Now you have seen mood examples in literature as well as examples of moods that you might experience in everyday life.