An Analysis Of The Aspect Of Mood

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An Analysis Of The Aspect Of Mood In A Key Passage From Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s One Day In The Life Essay, Research Paper The mood in any passage in literature is often defined as the sentiments that are impressed upon the reader through the reading of that passage. Evidently, considering the differing experiences of the readers, the mood created in each will not be exactly the same. However, one can consider certain universal elements in a passage which more than likely produce a similar effect in most readers. This is the approach one must take if they are to objectively analyse the mood created by an author in a key passage from one of that author’s works. The selected passage from One Day In the Life of Ivan Denisovitch contains such elements, of the kind which are

likely to impress upon most readers a certain mood. Such elements include the diction, or the careful choice of words which, in description of people and events, have such denotations and connotations as to inspire a certain feeling in a person, and the which is contained within the passage. Each of these are capable of providing a mood which is in stark contrast to the overriding tone of the entire novel. This is the case in the selected passage, and the precise reason that it is, in fact, a ‘key’ passage. Because its mood is an abberation from that of the rest of the novel, an account of drudgery and of suffering, it is significant for the ray of hope it lends to the reader who takes on the struggles of Shukhov. It is the mood of this passage which, amidst a much darker

picture stands out as a light, lit by the elements of the passage which creates this mood. The diction of the passage is a principal reason that it is able to impress upon the reader a mood of excitement, of sentiment bordering on happiness, in a setting which does not lend itself to such feelings. Such words that show Shukhov’s intense focus on the task, taking a joy in his work and leaving all other thoughts behind, are those which are the purveyors of the aforementioned mood and the hope which follows. This focus and feeling on the part of Shukhov is communicated in the passage whereby the descriptor “with zest” is added to describe the his work. Even one without a complete understanding of the word “zest” could be inspired by its presence in the text. To the human

ear, the word has such a sound that it very much fits the attitude which it describes. The word could not suggest any mood other than that which is created within this very passage. Other words found within the passage have similar effects, those produced by the phonetic character of the word, but also by the denotation or accepted meaning of the words. For example, the adjective “zealously”, describing Shukhov’s chopping of the ice upon the wall, is quite like the word “zest” in the mood which it suggests. Similarly, when “Shukhov tackled the wall as if it was his own handiwork”, the excitement and intensity of the task is effectively produced through the verb of the sentence. To tackle anything suggests a certain vigor on the part of the tackler, a vigor that

would be more foreign in a prison camp than in any other setting that life provides. In such a way as these words accomplish their tasks, diction becomes one of the most effective means of impressing upon a reader a mood, or of suggesting certain feelings to them. A very simple image is presented in this passage which also has a pronounced effect upon the reader. It is “that distant view where sun gleamed on snow” which can have a profound impression on anyone alert to that which they are reading. The image which is formed is such that few readers would be unaffected by it. The first element of the image is the sun. Unless the sun is portrayed as being oppressive, as it might under a great deal of heat, it has no negative connotations. Therefore, the only effect it might have