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plot

The series of related events that make up a narrative, purposes are to convey meaning and to provide an enjoyable or moving reading experience.

conflict

A struggle or clash between opposing characters, forces, or emotions.

external conflict

A character struggles against some outside

internal conflict

A struggle between opposing needs, desires, or emotions within a single character.

exposition

Background information on characters and events necessary for understanding the story.

setting

The time and place of events in a literary work.

To provide a time and place for the characters and events, • To aid in the understanding of characters and their actions, To create atmosphere, To facilitate plot development (to develop conflict)

four functions of setting

rising action

complications, Intensify the conflict(s) and create suspense.

technical climax

Turning point of the plot, where the protagonist changes or has an opportunity to change but does not. From this point, the outcome is determined.

falling action

Action that takes place after the climactic scene.

conclusion

Final event of the plot

resolution

The problems or mysteries of the plot are unraveled.

dramatic climax

The point of greatest interest or intensity in the story

foreshadowing

The use of clues to hint at what is going to happen later in the plot.

plotless short story

In some modern fiction, plot has a relatively minor function. These works may focus instead on characterization and point of view.

atmosphere

The mood or feeling in a work of literature, often affected by setting.

mood

The feeling a work of literature creates in the reader.

character

Fictional personality created by an author

characterization

The process by which the writer reveals the personality of a character.

expository

Telling, more direct, quicker, factual, characterization

dramatic

Showing, less direct, more time-consuming. The reader has to exercise her own judgment, putting clues together to figure out what a character is like, characterization

By describing how a character looks and dresses, By letting the reader hear the character speak, By showing the character's actions, By revealing the character's private thoughts and feelings, By showing how other characters feel or behave toward the character

Methods of dramatic characterization

protagonist

Central character the reader focuses on; the person whose conflict sets the plot in motion.

antagonist

A character or force that blocks the protagonist

round

A character that has more dimensions to his/her personality; he/she is complex and multi-faceted, like a real person

flat

A character who is not well-developed, but rather one-dimensional; he/she has limited personality traits

dynamic

A character who grows, learns, or changes as a result of the story's action

static

A character that does not change much in the course of the story

foil

A character who is used as a contrast to another character; the contrast emphasizes the differences between the two characters, bringing out the distinctive qualities in each.

motivation

The reasons that cause characters to act as they do

narrator

The teller of the story

point of view

The vantage point from which a writer tells a story

first person

The narrator is a character in the story; uses the pronoun "I"

second-person

The narrator describes the reader's actions, using the personal pronoun "you." This point of view is rare.

third-person objective

The narrator in the dramatic point of view reports events in a way that is analogous to a motion-picture camera, or to what some call "a fly on the wall." An impartial report.

third-person omniscient

The narrator is outside the story, a god-like observer who can tell the reader what all the characters are thinking and feeling, as well as what is happening anywhere in the story.

third-person limited

The narrator is outside the story, but tells the story from the vantage point of only ONE character; the narrator can enter the mind of this chosen character but cannot tell what any other characters are thinking except by observation

theme

The central idea, message, or insight of a work of literature; most are implied rather than directly stated

Must be a complete declarative sentence, Must state a significant, general truth about life, people, human nature, or the world, Must clearly be brought out in the work

Guidelines for stating theme

tone

The attitude a writer takes toward the reader, a subject, or a character; tone is conveyed through the writer's choice of words and details, nostalgic; factual; bitter; passionate.

writing style

Includes a writer's syntax (sentence structure) and diction (word choice)

symbol

A concrete thing, place, or event (more rarely, a person) that stands both for itself and for something abstract beyond itself

irony

A contrast or discrepancy between expectation and reality; what is not expected

dramatic

When the reader or audience knows something important that a character in a story or drama does not know

situational

What actually happens is the opposite of what is expected or appropriate

verbal

When a speaker says one thing but means the opposite

pun

A play on the multiple meanings of a word, or on two words that sound alike but have different meanings

poetry

A kind of rhythmic, compressed language that uses figures of speech and imagery designed to appeal to our emotions and imagination.

narrative

a story told in verse form; ex. an epic

lyric

a brief, personal poem that is especially musical and filled with emotion; sonnets, odes, and elegies are types

sonnet

A fourteen-line lyric poem, usually written in iambic pentameter, that has one of several rhyme schemes (Shakespeare's has three quatrains followed by a couplet; the most common rhyme scheme for this is abab cdcd efef gg

ballad

a type of poem that is meant to be sung and is both lyric and narrative in nature

simile

Two dissimilar things are compared using words such as "like," "as," "than," or "resembles"

metaphor

Two dissimilar things are compared WITHOUT using words such as "like," "as," "than," or "resembles"

direct metaphor

Directly compares two things with a verb such as "is"

implied metaphor

Suggests a comparison WITHOUT using "is"

extended metaphor

A metaphor that is developed over several lines or a whole poem

dead metaphor

a metaphor that has become so overused that we no longer realize that is a figure of speech—we simply skip over the metaphorical connection it makes.

mixed metaphor

The inconsistent mixture of two or more metaphors; a common problem in bad writing, and they can often be unintentionally funny

synecdoche

The word for a part of something is used to mean the whole

Metonymy

Substituting one closely related idea for another.

personification

Giving human or animate qualities to nonhuman or inanimate things

apostrophe

Addressing something nonhuman as if it were human

symbol

Something concrete used to represent something abstract.

literary allusion

A reference to a person, place, or thing from previous literature

hyperbole

Exaggeration for the sake of effect, for emphasis, not to be taken literally; overstatement.

irony

Saying the opposite of what is true

antithesis

Balancing or contrasting one thing against another for effect

paradox

An apparent contradiction which proves, upon closer examination, to be true

oxymoron

a two-word paradox, Ex: a guilty pleasure

alliteration

The repetition of the initial consonant sound in two or more words in a line of verse

consonance

The repetition of consonant sounds that are NOT at the beginning of words in a line of verse, Come live with me and be my love.

assonance

The similarity or repetition of vowel sounds in two or more words with different consonant sounds

onomatopoeia

The use of words that imitate the sounds they define

repetition

Repeating a word or phrase within a poem

pleasing to the ear, emphasizes idea, gives poem structure

3 reasons to use repetition

refrain

The repetition of one or more phrases or lines at definite intervals in a poem, usually at the end of a stanza

stanza

A group of consecutive lines in a poem that form a single unit; a division of a poem that is often referred to as a "paragraph of poetry"

couplet

2 line stanza

triplet

3 line stanza

quatrain

4 line stanza

quintet

5 line stanza

sestet

6 line stanza

septet

7 line stanza

octave

8 line stanza

rhyme

The similarity or likeness of sound at the ends of two or more words

end rhyme

Occurs between words found at the ends of two or more lines in a poem

internal rhyme

Between words, occurs within a single one of poetry

perfect rhyme

(exact rhyme) involves sounds that are exactly the same

imperfect rhyme

(approximate or slant or off rhyme) involves words that sound similar, but are not exactly the same

eye rhyme

Depends on spelling rather than sound; words that look like they should rhyme, but do not

rhyme scheme

The pattern or sequence in which end rhyme occurs throughout a poem. The first end sound is represented with an "a," the second end sound is represented with a "b," and so on. When the first sound is repeated at the end of another line within the poem, it is also designated as "a."

rhythm

The pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in words in a line of poetry; may be regular or irregular

meter

A regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry

foot

A unit of meter, usually containing one stressed syllable and one or two or unstressed syllables; lines of poetry are classified according to the number of feet in a line

scansion

The process of marking lines of poetry to show the type of feet and the number of feet they contain

iambic foot

A two syllable foot with the stress on the second syllable; the most common foot of the English language, unstressed stressed

Trochaic foot

A two syllable foot with the stress on the first syllable

Spondaic foot

Two stressed syllables. Used rarely, for emphasis.

Pyrric foot

Two unstressed syllables; this type of foot is rare and is found in between other types of feet

Anapestic foot

Three syllables with the stress on the last syllable

Dactylic foot

Three syllables with the stress on the first syllable

monometer

1 foot per line

dimeter

2 feet per line

trimeter

3 feet per line

tetrameter

4 feet per line

pentameter

5 feet per line

hexameter

6 feet per line

heptameter

7 feet per line

octameter

8 feet per liner

rhymed verse

Consists of a verse with end rhyme and regular meter

blank verses

Consists of unrhymed iambic pentameter

free verse

Consists of lines of poetry that do not have a regular rhythm and do not rhyme regularly

denotation

The literary, dictionary definition of a word.

connotation

All the meanings, associations, or emotions that a word suggests

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