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Point of View

the perspective from which the story is told

1st person

- In the first person the author uses "I" to tell the story

3rd person

In 3rd person the author is omniscient or all seeing as in Animal Farm.


simple ideas, objects, or events that represent complex sets of ideas such as the "Seven Commandments" in Animal Farm


controlling idea the things going on beneath the plot, the force behind the characterization - Ultimate Power Corrupts - Man is both good and evil


Readers are given insight into situations that the characters do not have


the ridicule of any subject, idea, person, or institution - Simpsons, Southpark, Family Guy, all use satire in conjunction with parody


A takeoff or spoof of a real event, media source, person, piece of literature artwork, etc.


an indirect comparison using like or as - I am as hungry as a wolf.


a direct comparison between two unlike things without like or as - The sun is a giant fast food restaurant heat lamp and I am the Big Mac souring in its staggering heat.


the sequence of events that unfold in a story - remember when I ask for the plot I am asking for A LOT


the time and place a story is set in

Major Conflict

the conflict that is introduced very early on in the story that is resolved in the end

Minor Conflict

a smaller conflict that is introduced later in the story and is usually resolved in the falling action


the turning point in the story, driven by the major conflict, where the action peaks

Falling Action

the action that takes place following the climax just before the resolution - usually a minor conflict is resolved that has been ongoing in the story -


the point in the story in which the major conflict is resolved


literary device in which an author gives human like qualities to inanimate objects or forces of nature - The fire reached out with a mighty hand grasping anything it could and instantly devouring it in it's hungry mouth of flame.


The physical, emotional, and moral description an author gives a character - The description of Ralph in LOTF

Dynamic Character

A character that undergoes a major change in his/her way of thinking and/or acting through the course of the story. Ralph would be a good example of a dynamic character because of the tremendous change he undergoes as a result of his being chosen as leader.

Static Character

A character that undergoes no major change in regards to his/her thoughts or actions during the course of a story. Boxer from Animal Farm is an example of a character that does not change from the beginning of the story to the time he is hauled away to the glue factory.


An expression that cannot be understood based on the sum of the parts. Example: A sandwich short of a picnic, Lost your marbles, Mad as a hatter, etc.


A comparison between two like things to show a relationship in either physical structure or literary story line - Comparing an egg to a cell, Comparing the Universe to an Atom, Comparing Animal Farm to the rise of the USSR.


the author alludes to something that will happen later in the story without directly telling you


a nicer way of saying something - putting things into softer terms --- Passed Away - instead of died


Act of creating a character and developing them. Physical, emotional, moral description that an author gives a character


A central message concern or purpose in a literary work / Controlling idea going on beneath the plot Example: LOTF Struggle for power and peer acceptance.


- Sequence of events in which each event leads to the next - Arc of the story


A paragraph that describes the main parts of a story


- A figure of speech that uses like or as to compare two unlike things - Example: Dry as a bone. Fast as the wind. Hot like an oven. Hard as a rock. The sun was scorching my flesh like a heat lamp in McDonalds. make a different comparison between two ideas or unlik


A figure of speech in which something is described as if it were something else. Not using like or as . A direct comparison in which something IS something else. Example: The sun is an oven baking me at 451 degrees.

Arc of a Story

The plot - Sequence of events - Exposition (introduction to character setting etc) Rising action driven by a major conflict, Climax or turning point, Falling action, Resolution whereby the major conflict is resolved

Major Conflict

The main driving purpose that fuels the story, comes to a head in the climax and is resolved in the resolution. Constant throughout a novel/story/movie/play Example: LOTF No Grown Ups

Minor Conflict

Smaller conflict that comes up at any point in the story and is resolved separately from the major conflict Example: Piggy is annoying to many in the group.


The turning point in the story. When the action becomes hectic and the conflict is at is most evident


The outcome of the conflict in the plot, The point in the story in which the conflict is taken care of. It may be satisfactory to the reader and may not be.


getting insight into situations that characters don't have / sometimes amusing contradictions / Something happens that you didn't expect Example: Firedog being evil and killing instead of helping to save lives, or firemen that start fires instead of putting them out


the use of clues to hint at what might happen later in the story / Example: Montag looking up at the vent in his house in Part 1


when an author leaves you hanging / Not knowing what will happen next / author ends a chapter, page, book, leaving the reader to wonder what will happen, or wanting more


Something representing something else / A small or seemingly insignificant event or item that represents something larger - Example: Phoenix in F-451


A reference to a well known event, person, work of art / Authors use this to make connections between their own ideas and those of others who potentially inspired them


An agreeable expression that is less offensive than the harsh truth. Example: Your fat/ Your just big boned!

Deus Ex Machina

God from Machine - Greek "quick fix" that saves the day and provides a remedy to the major conflict - Example: Ship captain showing up right before Ralph gets BBQed

Point of View -

The perspective from which a story is told

1st person

The narrator participates in the action and events and everything is seen from the narrator's perspective - Use of "I"

3rd person -

The narrator is an outside viewer of the story and knows all & sees all. The author can explain characters from their perspective, or that of others.

Symbolism -

Refers to simple ideas, objects, or events that represent complex sets of ideas - American Flag - freedom, colonies, states, pride, culture, safety

Euphemism -

A nice way of saying something not so nice - I'm not fat! I'm big boned! Dull instead of boring

Irony -

Readers are given insight that the characters don't have. The situation created is usually one that the reader saw coming, but the characters did not. Something unexpected happens from the norm. A police officer pulled over for speeding.

Satire -

Pointing out the flaws of characters that represent real people or events - Napoleon represents Joseph Stalin - Snowball represents Leon Trotsky - These real people's flaws are pointed out in the book through characters that represent them.


Specialized vocabulary or grammar of a region - Southern Dialect - Northern Dialects - Redneck Dialect - Valley Girl Dialect

Simile -

Indirect Comparison using like or as - The sun was as hot as an oven! I am like a bear in the winter when I sleep in on the weekends.

Metaphor -

Direct Comparisons without like or as - The sun is an oven, and I am baking at 120 degrees! I am a bear hibernating on the weekend. Says that one thing IS another!

Setting -

Time and place a story occurs

Major Conflict -

The conflict that drives the entire story upon which all other conflicts arise from. It comes to a major point in the Climax, and it resolved by the Resolution

Minor Conflict -

Smaller conflicts that arise from the Major Conflict - Resolved before the resolution or as a part of it.

Climax -

Turning point in the major conflict - Where the action rapidly begins to move toward the resolution - A major turning point in the story that impacts the major conflict

Falling Action -

The action between the climax and the resolution - Falling action happens quickly

Resolution -

The point in a story where the major conflict is resolved - It does NOT have to satisfy the reader.

Personification -

Giving human qualities to inanimate objects - The wind played on the water. The sun was dancing on the boys cheeks. The snow ate away at my face!


The way an author creates a character. His or her actions, appearance, attitude, beliefs.

Dynamic Character -

A character that grows and changes as the story progresses. Napoleon, Charlie, Ralph

Static Character -

A character that does not grow or change as the story progresses. Boxer, Dr. Strauss, Dr. Nemur, Molly

Genre -

Types of literature, film, art, music - categories like mystery novel, action, humor, comedy, romance - Music - Rap, R&B, Country

Science Fiction

Sci Fi - Story that is based on scientific facts, but is fictional - Like Star Wars

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