assigning human qualities to inanimate objects or concepts. Wordsworth's "the sea that bares her bosom to the moon."
the presentation of two contrasting ideas. The ideas are balanced by phrase, clause, or paragraphs. "To be or not to be . . ." "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times . . ." "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country . . ."
a figure of speech wherein the author groups apparently contradictory terms. "jumbo shrimp" and "cruel kindness."
bitter, caustic language that is meant to hurt or ridicule someone or something. It may use verbal irony as a device.
Part as representative of the whole. "All hands on deck"
deliberate exaggeration or overstatement
repetition of a word, phrase, or clause at the beginning of two or more sentences in a row.
The central idea or message of a work, the insight it offers into life. Usually unstated in fictional works, but in nonfiction may be directly stated, especially in expository or argumentative writing.
A type of metaphor in which the name of one object is substituted for that of another closely associated with it. "The White House declared," from the Greek meaning "changed label" or "substitute name"
A statement that appears to be self-contradictory or opposed to common sense but upon closer inspection contains some degree of truth or validity. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
a figure of speech in which natural sounds are imitated in the sounds of words. Simple examples include such words as buzz, hiss, hum.
a comparison of two unlike things, not using like or as. "Your eyes are stars"
Anything that represents, stands for, something else. Usually concrete—such as an object, action, character, or scene—that represents something more abstract.
an emotionally violent, verbal denunciation or attack using strong, abusive language.
the opposite of exaggeration. It is a technique for developing irony and/or humor where one writes or says less than intended.
This term literally means "sermon," but more informally, it can include any serious talk, speech, or lecture involving moral or spiritual advice.
a more acceptable and usually more pleasant way of saying something that might be inappropriate or uncomfortable. "He went to his final reward" for "he died."
A work that targets human vices and follies or social institutions and convention for reform or ridicule.
The repetition of sounds at the beginning of words, such as "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers."
The telling of a story or an account of an event or series of events.
an appeal based on the character/reputation/ credibility of the speaker.
a type of irony in which events turn out the opposite of what was expected.
an appeal based on emotion.
a deductive system of formal logic that presents two premises that inevitably lead to a sound conclusion. A=B, B=C, so A=C. "All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; therefore, Socrates is mortal."
an appeal based on logic or reason
In this type of irony, the words literally state the opposite of the writer's true meaning
A story or brief episode told by the writer or a character to illustrate a point.
the literal or dictionary meaning of a word
In this type of irony, facts or events are unknown to a character in a play or a piece of fiction but known to the reader, audience, or other characters in the work
A work that closely imitates the style or content of another with the specific aim of comic effect and/or ridicule.
the feelings or emotions surrounding/associated with a word, beyond its literal meaning. Generally positive or negative in nature.
The duplication, either exact or approximate, or any element of language, such as sound, word, phrase, clause, sentence, or grammatical pattern.
The grammatical structure of prose and poetry.
Two definitions/uses. One refers to the total "sound" of the writer's style.The second refers to the relationship between a sentence's subject and verb (active and passive).
A mode of discourse in which the writer presents a logical assertion or a series of assertions for or against some subject.
A reference to another work outside of the present work.
The major category into which a literary work fits. The basic divisions of literature are prose, poetry, and drama.
A narrative technique that places the reader in the mind and thought process of the narrator, no matter how random and spontaneous that may be.
A work that functions on a symbolic level (a kind of extended symbolism)
similarity in structure and syntax in a series of related words, phrases, clauses, sentences, or paragraphs that develops balance. Ex. "When you are right, you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative"- MLK
Drawing a comparison to show a similarity in some respect. It is assumed that what applies to a parallel situation also applies to the original circumstance.
A rhetorical mode based in the five senses. It aims to re-create, invent, or present something so that the reader can experience it.
the techniques and rules for using language effectively, eloquently, and persuasively.
Third Person Limited
Point of view in which narrator exists outside of all characters, but is privy to the feelings and thoughts of one character, presenting only the actions of all remaining characters
Third Person Omniscient
Point of view in which an omniscient narrator, with a godlike knowledge, is privy to the thoughts and actions of any or all characters.
those who carry out the action of the plot in literature. Major, minor, static, and dynamic are the types.
Slang in writing, used often to create local color and to provide an informal tone. Twain's Huck Finn
the word, phrase, or clause that a pronoun refers to.
The sentence or group of sentences that directly expresses the author's opinion, purpose, meaning, or proposition.
Arrangement of repeated thoughts in the pattern of X Y Y X. It is often short and summarizes a main idea.
describes the author's attitude toward his or her material, the audience, or both. Differs from mood in that it is how the author feels, which may be different from how the work feels.
The literary genre that is written in ordinary language and most closely resembles everyday speech.
Commas used (with no conjunction) to separate a series of words, speeds up flow of sentence. X, Y, Z as opposed to X, Y, and Z.
Point of View
Who tells a story and how it is told. (1st, 2nd, 3rd limited, 3rd omniscient)
reasoning from the general to the particular (or from cause to effect). "People suck, so you probably suck too."
the prevailing atmosphere or emotional aura of a work. (Poe with eerie intensity)
the author's choice of words that creates tone, attitude, and style, as well as meaning
who or what the sentence is about
tells what the subject is or does
the object that receives the action of the verb. Ex. Claire threw Joseph the BALL."
Tells to whom, for whom the action of the verb is done. Ex. "Claire threw JOSEPH the ball"
A noun that follows a linking verb and renames or defines the subject.
An adjective that follows a linking verb and describes the subject
expresses a complete thought and can stand alone as a sentence. Has both a subject and a verb.
does not express a complete thought and cannot stand alone as a sentence, even though it has a subject and a verb,
short, witty statement of truth
when a speaker address someone/something that isn't there. Ex. "Are you there God? It's me, Mr. Ginley."
A metaphor that continues beyond it's initial use, often developed at great length, occurring frequently throughout a work.
an overused saying or idea
Deliberate use of many conjunctions in close succession, especially where some might be omitted. Hemingway and the Bible both use extensively. Ex. "he ran and jumped and laughed for joy"
reasoning from detailed facts to general principles. Ex. "All of the ice we have examined so far is cold.Therefore, all ice is cold."