Literary Terms

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37 terms · Terms.

ALLEGORY

: an extended metaphor served be a narrative (a metaphor that lasts through the whole book, a long metaphor.)

ALLUSION

: an indirect reference to something assumed to be known.
Ex: Ben Franklin (literary, historical, pop culture allusions.)

AMBIGUITY

: a word or phrase that's confusing because it has more than one meaning.
Ex: I never had potatoes cooked like that before. (You cant tell whether their being sarcastic or not.)

ANIMAL IMAGERY

: figurative language used to describe people or things with animal images.
Ex: She walks like an elephant

ANTAGONIST

: the character of force who opposes the protagonist, bad person of the story.
Ex: Captain Beatty in FH451 he was a symbol for government

APOSTROPHE

: figure of speech that addresses someone or something that cannot speak back.
Ex: When the character is talking to a dead character, or when you're playing video games and cursing at it because you're losing.

CHARACTERIZATION

: the author's statements about the characters personality. Character info through character thoughts or actions or words.
Ex: (direct) Carlos is a generous person. (indirect) Carlos goes and volunteers to help at a soup kitchen.
Conflict: an opposition or problem between two forces.
Human vs. Human: Dad and Mom
Human vs. Self: Me and me
Human vs. Nature: Memo vs. the ocean
Human vs. Idea: Bigger Tomas vs. Racism/Society
Human vs. Supernatural: Audacious vs. Gods

CONNOTATION

: the context associate with an object/word.
Ex: The gym teacher was a vicious alligator. You don't know anything about basketball let me school you.
Positive or negative connotation.

DENOTATION

: the strict meaning
Ex: An alligator is a large crocodile with a large jaw.

Diction: the choice of the author's words.
Ex: (formal) Dressing your words up. (informal) Dressing your words down.
Code switching, depending on you audience.
(It develops a character)

FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE

: a descriptive word used to bring up mental images and impressions and non-literal
Ex: similes, metaphors, and personification, the top 3 types of figurative language.

FRAMING

: a method of ending a literary word where it started in to enclose it.
Ex: Movies like SAW, it goes back to the begging of the story at the end of the movie.

GENRE

: a category of literature characterized by form style or content.
Ex: Drama/Plays, comedy, prose, poetry

HYPERBOLE

: figure of speech that has been exaggerated.
Ex: I'll wait for you till I die.

IMAGERY

: a mental perception of a person place or thing in a book written in language that appeals to your senses.
1. Visual (see)- His head was shaped like a circle.
2. Auditoria (hearing)- the wind whistled in the air
3. Kinesthetic- She dashed through the room.
4. Olfactory (smell)- It smelled like fresh cut grass.
5. Tactile (touch)- The fabric was smooth.
6. Thermal (temperature)- The room is freezing.
7. Gustatory (appeals to taste)- It tastes like burned cookies.
Often used for the description of the story.

IRONY

: a contradiction of the expectation in reality
Ex: "I hate you." Later they got married.
Dramatic: Being able to determine what will happen in the future bit not character.
Situational: when a strange event occurs that seems like the opposite of what was expected.
Ex: Burning stress relieves candles. House catches on fire. You're a thief and you get robbed.
Verbal: a statement in which it's meaning is different from the words actual meaning of intension of a speaker
Ex: Sarcasm, The bad news is the operation was successful.

JUXTAPOSITION

: the arrangement of two or more things side by side to show contrast.
(Structural)
Antithesis: using opposite words or phrases in a sentence.
Ex: I burn and I freeze. One small step for a man, one giant leap for all mankind.
Oxymoron: a contradiction of two terms that make sense
Ex: Jumbo shirt, cold fire
Paradox: the statement that appears contradictory it makes sense in a deeper level of thought.
Ex: A fatherless child. You're a women now little sister.

LITOTES

: a statement when an author assorts the negative in order to affirm the positive.
Ex: The weather on the west coast is not that bad.
Litotes-Opposite of hyperbole.

METAPHOR

: a direct comparison between two inline things that can use is or was.
Ex: She is an average princess. My life had stood a loaded gun.

MOOD

: the feeling or emotional atmosphere in a work (setting of the work) usually in the introduction.

MOTIF

: an element that is reoccurring in literature that supports the theme.
Ex: The burning of the books. FH451

PERSONA

: the author's creation of a character/narrator not necessarily the authors voice.
Ex: Langston Hughes, a poet, Mother to Son.

PERSONIFICATION

: giving non human things human characteristics (1 of the top3 types of figurative language.)
Ex: The piece of paper jumped off the table.

POINT OF VIEW

: The point from which the narrator tells the story.
First: Story told by the main characters point of view.
Limited 3rd: the narrators telling the story from another persons/groups perspective. (Uses he or she.)
Omniscient: the narrative is told form all perspectives. (Like God, knows it all.)

PROTAGONIST

: the main character in the drama or literature, the one that gets the function of the conflict.
Ex: FH451 Guy was the protagonist.

SATIRE

: the literary work referring to human habits and foolish actions to mock or make fun of.
Ex: South park (political commentary)

SETTING

: anytime place and social circumstances (mood) where a literary work is taking place, written in introduction.
Ex: Verona in Italy. (Romeo and Juliet.) The woods in Little Red Ridding Hood.

SIMILE

: a comparison between two or more unlike things using and, like or as.
Ex: She is as tall as a mountain. He is smart like a calculator.

SOLILOQUY

: the point where the person is alone and speaking in thoughts revealed. (The character has to be alone.) Used in drama only.
Ex: When Juliet was alone in the balcony and she thought there was no one around so she spoke about how she felt about Romeo.

STYLE

: the way that the author uses words. Using word choice, structure, tone, and literary devices.
Ex: Shakespearean English "But soft what light through yonder window breaks."-Romeo and Juliet

SYMBOL

: a word, place, character, or object in order to represent the whole.
Ex: Sabers=Strong

SYNECDOCHE

: using part of an object in order to represent the whole
Ex: Keep an eye on him.
This is a type of figurative language. Synecdoche-Neck id the part of the body that connects the whole body.

SYNESTHESIA

: a literary device where one sense describes another. Shifted imagery.
Ex: The color blue sounds so sad.

SYNTAX

: words and phrases that are arranged in grammatical structure.
Ex: Victor went to the store.
Victor=Subject went=verb store=object
Went to the store, Victor did,

THEME

: the central idea or meaning of the book.
All themes should be written in Universal complete statement.
NO ONE WORD THEME.
Ex: Technology over all is hurtful to humanity. -FH451

TONE

: the author's attitude towards the reader about the subject.
Ex: worry, uneasy, disgusted=Sad
Sociable, gracious compassionate=Friendly

SOCIAL COMMENTARY

: the author's point of view about society. Usually comments on work, social class, money, race, gender.
Ex: I sometimes think drivers don't know what grass or flowers are. —Clarisse McClellan FH451

POLITICAL COMMENTARY

: the author's point of view about politics. Anything about war, elections, laws, etc.
Ex: War, FH451

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