Basic Literary Terms and Definitions

31 terms by SMSReeves

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This list and definitions will be use for a quiz after we finish reading Walk Two Moons.

cliche

trite expression usually overused familiar phrase

narrator

the person or character that is telling the story

essay

writing that gives ideas and points of view about a subject

antagonist

adversary of the hero or protagonist of a drama or other literary work

hyperbole

obvious exaggeration

exaggeration

stretching the truth

context

what comes before or follows a word or statement and influences it's meaning

conflict

refers to the problems and complications in a story

foreshadowing

hints and clues given by the author about the story

falling action

after the climax, contains the action that leads to the end of the story

character

person in a novel, play, story, etc.

flashback

the author goes back to an earlier time in the story

climax

decisive moment in a plot; the highest point of action in the story

exposition

the part of a story that tells about the setting, time and background of the story

melodrama

exaggerated drama to produce strong feeling

dialogue

conversation (talking) between two or more characters

pseudonym

fictitious name used by an author to conceal his or her identity; pen name

slang

informal vocabulary; jargon

protagonist

the main character (hero) of the story

resolution

the end problems are all resolved

stereotype

a certain type of person; no individuality

plot

the main story of a novel, play, etc.

rising action

the part of the story leading up to the climax

understatement

holding back; the opposite of exaggeration

point of view

the angle from which the story is told

sarcasm

scornful, ironic language, harsh, cutting language or tone intended to ridicule

satire

the use of irony or ridicule in exposing vice, folly, etc., an ironic, sarcastic, or witty composition that claims to argue for something, but actually argues against it

irony

the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of the literal meaning, incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs

setting

the locale and period of a story, play, etc.

plagiarism

copying and using someone else's written work

profanity

language used to degrade someone or something

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