MOOD refers to the atmosphere (or feelings) created in a passage of writing. Words that might describe the “Mood” of the passage are: threatening, restful, nostalgic, peaceful, chaotic, joyful or jubilant, sad or melancholic…etc.

TONE refers to the attitude of the writer (in our case, the narrator) towards what is happening in the passage. Words that might describe the “Tone” of the passage are: humorous, angry, witty, direct, positive, sensitive, nervous or hesitant, questioning, unconcerned…etc.

Choose TWO of the following passages from Chapter 8 and describe the MOOD and TONE in each passage. Also, explain how this MOOD and TONE was created. I.e. Reference any word choice, language techniques used, or sentence structure chosen.


“I stared at the mountain rising over me. Empty. It was a pointless thing to have done – climb up it, across it, and down it. Stupid! It looked perfect; so clean and untouched, and we had changed nothing, It was beautiful, immaculate, but it left me empty. I had been on it too long, and it had taken everything.” Page 117t

As a reader, the mood I found was created in this passage describes a positive atmosphere. The reader begins to create beautiful pictures of nature in their head. This mood is created as words such as perfect, clean, immaculate and untouched are used by the writer. Simon uses repetition of the pronoun ‘it’ when he says “climb up it, across it, and down it” he continues to use this pronoun throughout this text. ‘It” refers to the mountain Siula Grande.

However, although a perfect atmosphere is described, the narrator creates a not so pleasant tone. The writer makes everything sound perfect but in contrast he then explains that he is left feeling empty. Simon portrays a frustrated attitude that seems to have built up from his low self esteem, he says “I had been on it too long”, meaning the mountain. He creates this tone by changing the descriptions from beautiful and immaculate to empty and pointless. The author also uses personification for this part of the text. When Simon says “I had been on it too long, and it had taken everything,” he speaks about the mountain as though it were a person. Mountains can’t physically take anything from you, in this sentence, he means during the climb of this mountain many events had taken place that would change his life forever. To the reader this seems like he is afraid of blaming himself for the events that took place, therefore is putting the blame on the mountain for its natural terrain, leading to the “death” of Joe.


“Instead there was a slow ache inside, a growing sense of loss and sorrow. This is what it had all come down to – standing alone, amid the mountain debris thinking of the waste and the pity. I thought of saying a quiet farewell as I turned to leave, but in the end, didn’t. He had gone for good. The steady surge of the glacier would take him down to the valleys in the coming years, but by then he would have become a casual memory. Already, it seemed, I was beginning to forget him.” Page 124



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  1. Phoebe, there is a good initial understanding of mood and tone here – well done for supporting your ideas with specific examples from the text! Have you considered why the word “it” is continuously repeated for the mountain in this section of the text?

    Please complete these answers – your response structure is getting stronger. Keep using the basic State, Expand, Example, Response formula.

    Have you completed the work for Chapter 9?


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