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Core Skills Workout: Mood-HL
DRAMA: The Monkey’s Paw, pages 18–23
Mood is the feeling you get from reading a piece of writing. Another way to describe mood is atmosphere.
When you walk into a place, it has an atmosphere that makes you feel a certain way; when you “walk into” a story, it too
has an atmosphere that creates a feeling. Writers create mood through word choice, imagery, dialogue, setting, and plot.
In this activity, you will consider the mood during the Whites’ visit with Sergeant Major Morris in
Scene 1 of The Monkey’s Paw by playwright Jennifer Dignan.
The very beginning of Scene contains some information about the setting. The questions below ask you
about this information and how the setting helps create an ominous mood.
1. The description says that the scene takes place in the evening. Choose the statement that explains how a
night-time setting helps create an ominous mood.
Night is often thought of as the part of the day when scary or bad things can happen. People feel less
safe in the dark than in the light. So a nighttime setting helps create an ominous mood.
Nighttime is when people eat dinner and relax by a fire before going to sleep. So a nighttime setting
helps create an ominous mood.
2. The Stage Directors describe that as the play starts, sounds of a storm rise up in the dark theater. Explain
how setting the scene during a storm helps create an ominous mood.
Here is a word that could be used to describe the mood of the scene:
Now let’s look at what creates this mood.
means “feeling like
something bad or
evil will happen;