The mood of a story is the overall atmosphere of the story or the feeling it gives its readers. The author uses a variety of devices to cause the audience to feel certain emotions while reading the story. These emotions establish the literary mood.
Among the devices that set literary mood are the story's theme, the tone the writer takes about his topic, the setting of the story and even word choice. The setting of the story is often the easiest literary device to identify and one of the strongest influences on mood. The setting is the time and place a story occurs. When an event happens at night or on a rainy day, the mood immediately is more somber than if the story takes place on a sunny day. The place also affects the mood. For instance, deserted areas evoke a feeling of loneliness or perhaps fearfulness. The author generally takes a certain tone about his topic. Sometimes it is sympathetic, but other times it is disapproving or sarcastic. The writer's tone naturally affects how the reader feels. The theme of the story and its underlying message also evoke certain emotions within the reader, and the writer's choice of words have a great impact on the subliminal message of the story as well. For instance, the "clanging" of a bell sets a different mood than the "tolling" of a bell.