The Haunted Oak by Paul Laurence Dunbar How vocabulary creates a creepy mood and atmosphere in this story of a hangman’s tree.
Vocabulary used to create a creepy mood and atmosphere “The shade you throw” “Runs a shudder over me” “But I saw in the moonlight dim and weird a guiltless victim’s pains.” Story: Someone asks an old try why it looks so old and dead. The tree responds it is that way because it has experienced the hanging of a guiltless man.
“I shook with his gurgling moan,” “And I trembled sore” Story: The tree describes its reaction as the man is hung.
“Oh, why does the dog howl all night long, and why does the night wind wail?” Story: The man is thrown in jail. Some men come and take him out of the jail to do something worse to him.
“Over the moonlit road?” Story: The men trick the jailer into letting the men take the prisoner. He is taken away to a tree.
“he wore a mask of black,” “Oh foolish man, why weep you now?” “These shall dread the mem’ry of your face.” Story: These four men have gathered to “judge” him. The tree tries to comfort the man saying those who judge him will regret it.
“I feel in the throe of his final woe The touch of my own last pain.” Story: The tree feels the man’s pain and begins to die because of it.
“I am burned with dread, I am dried and dead, from the curse of a guiltless man.” “In the guise of a mortal fear.” “For I feel his curse as a haunted bough, on the trunk of a haunted tree.” Story: The tree dies under the weight of injustice. It will stay with the tree always. The men who committed the injustice are also haunted by it.