A story that acts as an extended metaphor. Characters, objects, and actions in the story have additional meanings separate from and outside the story itself. An allegory is different from a symbol because a symbol presents additional levels of meaning that are centered on a single character, object or action, and the symbol is only part of the story (although it may be a very important part). In an allegory, these additional levels of meaning are the story.
The repetition of the same consonant or vowel sound at the beginning of several closely placed words. The sound can also be included within the words as well as at the beginning.
A brief reference to a historical or literary figure, event, or object.
The use of the same or similar vowel sounds in the stressed syllables of several closely placed words that end with different consonant sounds.
A pause or break in a line of poetry.
The way an author creates and develops the characters in the story. This includes appearance, personality, behavior, beliefs, and relationships with other characters.
The narrator explains the character to the reader.
The reader infers what the character is like through his actions and the reactions of other characters.
A struggle between a character and another opposing force. There are four types of conflict.
Person vs Self
The character struggles within herself to make a decision, reach a conclusion, or overcome a part of herself.
Person vs Person
The character struggles against the will or actions of another character.
Person vs Society
The character struggles against a group or society.
Person vs Nature
The character struggle against natural forces or elements outside of human creation or control.
Drama that is meant to amuse the audience through wit, humor, subtlety, and character.
Any meaning a word conveys, emotional, or social, that is in addition to its official meaning. The additional meaning may be personal, limited to a group, or universal. (Don't confuse this with slang when a words takes on an entirely new meaning in informal speaking.)
The author's choice and use of words in a text. This is roughly analogous to word choice.
The formal or official meaning of a word, separate from any other associations or acquired meaning.
A poem in which a single character gives a speech, usually to a known but silent listener, that reveals something about himself as he is in a dramatic or significant situation.
In Medias Rez
Starting a story in the middle and giving necessary exposition as the story unfolds (through dialogue, flashback, narration, etc.).
The continuation of a thought or clause from one line of poetry to another.
A long narrative poem written in a formal style that involves important characters whose actions highlight the deeds of the protagonist and form the framework for culturally and historically significant events.
The use of language in a non-literal, non-normative way. Figurative Language includes things such as metaphor, simile, hyperbole, and synecdoche, among others.
A character in a story who contrasts with another character, making the latter's attributes clearer and more distinctive, much like adding salt to a recipe brings out the flavors of the other ingredients.
Information given in a text that prepares the reader for future parts of the text. This information may be subtle or overt. Some examples of foreshadowing include the creation of a mood that hints at upcoming events or the presence or appearance of objects or facts not previously known.
An exaggeration to amuse or to reinforce or heighten effect.
A description of an experience, object, or person using sensory details, usually more than one. Images are sometimes called concrete details. They are the building blocks of poetry.
When reality is different from what it appears to be or what is anticipated.
Much like sarcasm, when what is said differs from what is actually meant, but usually not as harsh or abrasive.
When the reader or viewer or a text or performance knows something that the characters themselves do not.
A comparison between two things in which the similarity between the two is implied and not directly stated.
Substituting a thing closely related to a word with the word itself.
The rhythm of a piece of poetry. The rhythm is determined by the number of syllables in a line and the number and placement of accents in the line. The smallest unit of rhythm is called a foot, and there are six basic types of feet and seven basic arrangements of these feet, all of which we'll discuss later in class.
A recurring word, phrase, image, object, or action that creates unity throughout a text and may also reinforce its theme.
Words that sound the same as the things they mean.
Giving human characteristics to animals, ideas, feelings, or inanimate objects.
The pattern of events in a story. Plot is more than a simple diagram of the story (although a diagram is helpful for seeing the pattern) - it is the relationship between the parts and how they fit together. Traditionally, plot has been subdivided into parts: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action ordenouement, and resolution. These parts sometimes overlap, and varying definitions are used depending on whether the work is a play or another kind of prose.
Literature that is written with a regular rhythm and is usually expressive, imaginative, and relevant to the life and experience of the reader or listener.
Point of View
The perspective from which a narrative is told.
The narrator speaks in the first person and the reader can only know or experiences.
things that this character knows, thinks, feels, and experiences.
Third Person Limited
The narrator speaks in the third person, but the focus is on only one character, and the reader can only know or experience things that this character knows, thinks, feels, and experiences.
Third Person Omniscient
The narrator speaks in the third person and can know and explain anything that happens in the story and what the characters in it know, think, feel, and experience.
Third Person Objective
The narrator speaks in the third person and can know and explain anything that happens in the story externally but does not or cannot comment on what a character is thinking or feeling; no internal information about characters is available.
Literature that is not written with a regular rhythm. Although it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between prose and poetry, prose usually includes novels, novellas, short stories, plays, and essays.
The place in which a piece of literature is set, the time in which it occurs, the special circumstances that make it unique or different from our own world, and the culture in which it takes place.
A comparison between two things in which the similarity between the two is directly stated, usually using the words "as" or "like".
A speech given when a character is alone, and meant to share with the reader or viewer what is happening in that character's thoughts and feelings.
A set of two or more lines in a poem, grouped by their arrangement on the page or the subject that
Something that is itself but also represents or stands for something else. A flag is a piece of cloth that can be seen, felt, and experienced through the senses, but it also represents a country or community. In literature, symbols are usually used in this way, with something tangible also representing something abstract, on a different level of meaning.
Substituting a part of the whole for the whole itself.
The way an author arranges words and phrases to create sentences. This is roughly analogous to sentence fluency.
The author's message about or commentary on life that applies to everyone, is based on events in the text, and is expressed as a statement. A theme is different from a moral because the first is declarative and the second is imperative.
The author's attitude towards his/her subject as expressed to the reader. The author creates tone through the use of diction (especially words with clear connotations), syntax, imagery, and the information given through exposition. Tone is sometimes used interchangeably with the term "mood".
Drama that is meant to show the darker aspects of human existence that occur through nature or their own flaws. It also can celebrate the heroic struggle against this darkness, although this struggle results in defeat of some kind.
A narrator in a first-person narrative who cannot be completely trusted to relay information accurately or to understand what is going on. This can also apply in a third-person narrative if
narrator is another character addressing the reader directly