an extended metaphor where objects, characters, and actions in a story are equated with meanings outside of the story. The underlying meaning has moral, social, religious, or political significance
Example: The Crucible by Arthur Miller
the repetition of letters or sounds at the beginning of neighboring words
Example: The Lazy Lizard Loitered in the Lot
A reference to a person, event, or place in a work of art
Example:" When separations come by the hand of death, the pious soul can bow in resignation, and say, 'Not my will, but thine be done, O Lord"- Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
The comparison of two pairs that have the same relationship, such as opposites or parts to a whole
Example: Hear is to ear as sight is to eye.
Two ideas that are juxtaposed or brought together in order to establish a clear contrast between them
Example: "Give me liberty or give me death" - Patrick O'Henry
A brief saying embodying a moral
Example: "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." - Benjamin Franklin
A statement addressing someone that is dead, an idea or object that is not present
Example: "Busy old fool, unruly sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains call on us?"
- The Rising Sun by John Donne
An object or situation that reoccurs in literature as it was originally made
Example: Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The repetition of vowel sounds in neighboring words
Example: "Hear the lark and harken to the barking of the dark fox gone to ground" - Grantchester Meadows by Pink Floyd
A word, phrase or clause without conjunctions to give an effect of multiplicity
Example: It was a rather plain story, they meet each other, fall in love, get married, grow old, die happily.
The use of tone to shape the reader's feelings
Example: "She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking the alto chant of the visiting bees, and the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice came to her." - Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
A sentence constructed to emphasize a similarity or contrast between two or more of its words, phrases, or clauses
Example: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" - A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Lines of iambic pentameter without end rhyme
Example: "What is the boy now, who has lost his ball,
What, what is he to do? I saw it go
Merrily bouncing, down the street, and then
Merrily over-there it is in the water!"
- The Ball Poem by John Berryman
to ridicule or mock a style, literary form, or other subject matter, usually by exaggeration
Example: Scary Movie- Keenen Wayans
A rhythmic pattern in a free verse that is nonmetrically structured
Example: "You can have your Army Khakis,
And your Navy Blues,
But here's a different fighting man,
I'll introduce to you.
His uniform is unlike,
Any you've ever seen,
The Germans called him Devil Dog,
His title is Marine." - Marine Corps
The methods used to develop a character
Example: " Now he was a sturdy straw-haired man of thirty with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner." - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
a statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed
Example: "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed." - Genesis 9:6
An expression that has been extremely overused
Example: What goes around comes around.
The moment in a work of literature where the story reaches the point of greatest intensity
Example: When Nick Carroway is pursuing Mr Wilson in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
An informal word or phrase that is not accepted in formal language or writing
Example: I saw him walking down yonder.
A far-fetched simile or metaphor a literary, occurs when the speaker compares two highly dissimilar things
Example: "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" - William Shakespeare
The internal or external struggle found in a story
Example: "So when the bread didn't rise, and the fish wasn't quite done at the bone, and the rice was scorched, he slapped Janie until she had a ringing sound in her ears and he told her about her brains before he stalked on back to the store." - Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
The implied meaning of a word, or ideas that are associated with the word that are not associated with its definition
Example: The young lady was known around town to be easy.
the repetition of consonants or consonant patterns, especially at the ends of words
Example: As he began to play the music that way everybody began to sway.
two lines of a verse that rhyme
Example: "There once was a man from Peru
Who dreamed he was eating his shoe."
the literal meaning or dictionary definition of a word
Example: The dog was barking up the wrong tree, he toy was in the other one.
attention to or treatment of a subject in individual or minute parts
Example: "Then too she noticed how baggy Joe was getting all over. Like bags hanging from an ironing board. A little sack hung from the corners of his eyes and rested on his cheek bones; a loose-filled bag of feathers hung from his ears and rested on his neck beneath his chin." - Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
a conversation ibetween two or more individuals
Example: John asked, "What did you think of the movie?"
Bill responded, " I was alright but I have seen better".
a single character's speech that indirectly reveals his thoughts to the audience but not to other character
Example: "Thou knowest the mask of night is on my face;
Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek
For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night.
Fain would I dwell on form, fain, fain deny
What I have spoke; but farewell complement!
Dost thou love me?..." - Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
expressed in great length or detail
Example: "There was a big fireplace that was bricked on the bottom, and the bricks was kept clean and red by pouring water on them and scrubbing them with another brick..." -Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
a descriptive adjective used to denote certain characteristics to a person or a thing
Example: "with comrades on a ship sailing across the wine-dark sea to men whose style of speech is very different..." - The Odyssey by Homer
the repitition of a concluding word or word endings, forms the counterpart to anaphora
Example: "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child." - 1 Corinthians 13:11
the persuasive appeal of one's character, or credibility
Example: Ryan's restaurant, serving you since 1892.
the substitution of an agreeable or less offensive expression in place of one that may offend the listener or reader
Example: The boy struggled since he was mentally challenged.
the use of soothing pleasant sounds
Example: "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run..."
-To Autumn by John Keats
language that does not mean exactly what it says, but instead forces the reader to make an imaginative leap in order to comprehend an author's point
Example: "When i walked outside it was raining cats and dogs.
when a character, often the protagonist, narrates the story
Example: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
an action that interrupts a story th show an event that happened at an earlier time.
Example: The smell of funnel cake recalled memories of when my uncle would take me to the state fair and let me play all the games and ride all the rides.
the use of hints or clues to suggest what will happen later in a story
Example: "The police, on the strength of what he said to Michaelis, thar he 'had a way of finding out" - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
lines with no rhyme or regular meter
"All truths wait in all things
They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it,
They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon."
an exaggeration or overstatement
Example: I'm so hungry I could eat a horse.
a phrase or expression that means something different from what the words
Example: The baseball cards he were claiming to be rare were actually a dime a dozen.
language that evokes one or all five of the senses
Example: "His hair was long and tangled and greasy, and hung down, and you could see his eyes shining through like he was behind vines." - Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs
Example: the movie, Hitch with Will Smith, he can give really good dating advice but is goofy and bad on his own dates.
a five line closed-form poem in which rhyme in an AABBAA pattern
Example:There once was a fellow named Tim
whose dad never taught him to swim.
He fell off a dock
and sunk like a rock.
And that was the end of him.
- A Clumsy Young Fellow Named Tim
a particular form of understatement that denies the opposite or contrary of the word which otherwise would be used
Example: John: "We crushed them in our soccer game eleven to
Bill: "Not bad...not bad at all."
an appeal based on logic or reason
Example: You should not smoke because it is unhealthy and can
kill you, besides that it is also an expensive habbit.
a sentence which expresses the main thought near the beginning and adds explanatory material as need
Example:The man was obviously poor, wearing clothes to big for him that were all tattered, walking around with a can asking for chance.
the comparison of two unlike things
Example: "Us colored folks is branches without roots" - Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
taken from a private diary or journal, it is the day-to-day record of events in a person's life, written for personal use and pleasure. It tells of the people and events that the author has known or witnessed.
Example: "I was on fire. It's my earliest memory..." - The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables established in a line of poetry
Example: "This boat that we just built is just fine-
And don't try to tell if it's not.
The sides and the back are divine-
It's the bottom I guess we forgot..."
-"Homemade Boat" by Shel Silverstein
substituting a word for another word closely associated with it
Example: "I had been in my cell six years..." - Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
the feeling a piece of literature evokes in the reader
Example: The mood of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs is depressing and sympathetic.
a dominant theme or central idea that reoccurs throughout a story
Example: Corruption and loose morals are motifs in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
the reason why a character acts, feels or thinks in a certain way
Example: In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer's motivation for the things he does is he wants his adventures to be like those he has read about in books.
a traditional story that attempts to explain how the world was created or why the world is the way that it is
Example: Australian Aboriginal Legend called "How the Kangaroo Got Its Tail"
a recital of events in chronological order
Example: The man walk toward the teller, whispered in his ear, the teller handed him a bag of money, then he just walked out.
a comment which is funny and even confusing because of its apparent lack of relevance to what follows it
Example: "Standing on my elbow
with my finger in my ear,
biting on a dandelion..."
-Standing by Shel Silverstein
a lyric poem written in an elevated tone about a serious topic
Example: Ode to the people who were forgotten
They were once loved and cared for
Ode to their lives
Everyday they hurt
While in desperation for love
Ode to their heart
That was torn apart viciously
With little consideration
Of their inner feelings
Ode to their memories
That bring back happiness
Or to the ones
That are very vague.
Ode to those who have tried
Those who haven't given up
The ones that will keep climbin
For them life hasn't been easy.
- Ode to The Forgotten
the third person narrator is all-knowing and relates the thoughts, feelings and motivations of all the characters
Example: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
the use of a word to represent or imitate natural sounds
Example: "me-yow, me-yow" - Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
a type of paradox in which two linked words contradict each other
Example: The man was speculated how big the jumbo shrimp would be.
a statement that seems to be self-contradictory but has valid meaning
Example: If you are lost in the woods stay still and don't wander.
recurrent syntactical similarity. Several parts of a sentence or several sentences are expressed similarly to show that the ideas in the parts or sentences are equal in importance
Example: " We could have told them a different story. We could have given them a chapter of wrongs and sufferings...We could have told them how the poor old..."
- Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
an appeal that evokes the feelings of tenderness, pity, or sympathetic sorrow from the audience or reader
Example: "I dropped to my knees, and breathed a short prayer to god for guidance and protection."
-Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
when a writer tries to sway reader's feelings or opinions one way or another
Example: " I do it to kindle a flame of compassionin your hearts for my sisters who are still in bondage, suffering as I once suffered." - Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
the giving of human characteristics to inanimate objects, ideas, or animals
Example: The flag danced as the wind blew.
Point of View
the outlook from which the events in a work are told
Example: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is told through the eyes of a young boy to capture the wrongs of slavery.
the ordinary form of spoken and written language, language that lacks special features
Example: The boy walked his excited dog through the park.
the main character in a story, the hero
Example: Nick Carroway is the protagonist in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
a play on words that is identical or similar but has diverse meanings
Example: "Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man" - Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
reiterating or reusing a word or phrase
Example: "I was never cruelly over-worked; I was never lacerated with the whip from head to foot; I was never so beaten and bruised that I could not turn from one side to the other..."
-Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
the similarity of sound between two words
Example: I lost my dog in the bog!
the act of saying one thing but meaning another, verbal irony
Example: "THAT'S THE BEST G* DN ANSWER I'VE EVER HEARD! YOU MUST HAVE A G* DN IQ OF 160! YOU ARE G D*N GIFTED PRIVATE GUMP!" - Forrest Gump
a technique used to ridicule the flaws and weaknesses of society
Example: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
an outline of the plot of a dramatic work, which provides particulars about characters, settings, and situation
Example: The Great Gatsby is narrated by Nick Carroway, the main character. He lives next to a wealthy man named Gatsby but is not rich himself. He spends more time with Gatsby and his friends and sees how the rich live.
the time and place in which the action of a literary work occurs
Example: The Great Gatsby takes place during the 1920's in New York.
direct comparison between two usually unrelated things using "like" or "as"
Example: The cat seemed like a statue as it waited to pounce on the unsuspecting mouse.
the imaginary voice assumed by the poet
Example: "Can anyone lend me
two eighty-pound rats?
I want to ride my house of cats."
-"Drats" by Shel Silverstein
*The reader does not know for sure who is speaking so it is assumed it is Shel Silverstein
a distinctive poetic style that has fourteen lines. The first eight lines follow the rhyme scheme a-b-b-a, a-b-b-a. The last six lines follow the rhyme scheme c-d-e-c-d-e.
Example: "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest,
Nor shall death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee."
by William Shakespeare
a writer's strategic use of language to evoke images and create sounds within his or her work
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Stream of Consciousness
a style of writing in which the thoughts and feelings of the writer are recorded as they happen
Example: The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
a division of poem based on thought or form
Example:"I am a DOG
And you are a FLOWER
I lift my LEG UP
And give you a SHOWER" - I Am A Dog
the design or form of the completed action in a work of literature
Example: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
an anxious uncertainty about what is going to happen to the reader's favorite characters
Example: "There was a faint, barely perceptible movement of the water as the flow from one end urged its way toward the drain at the other. With little ripples that were hardly the shadows of waves, the laden mattress moved irregularly down the pool."
-The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
a word or image that signifies something other than what is literally represented; it has both a literal and figurative meaning
Example: The "witches" in The Crucible by Arthur Miller symbolize communists during the 1950's.
a substitution in which a part is used to represent the whole
Example: Can you give me a hand with this heavy box?
the narrator is not in the story and sees and records the information from a neutral or unemotional viewpoint
Example: Bob decided to talk to Tom
Tom asked " Bob did you get a new car?"
Bob replied "No, I just painted it"
the author's attitude toward his subject matter
Example: The tone of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is sarcastic and ironic.
a literary work in which the hero is destroyed by some flaw within his character and by forces which he cannot control
Example: Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare
any use of a word that turns its meaning from literal to figurative
Example: "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May
And summer's lease hath all too short a date"
saying less than one means or saying what one means with less force than the occasion warrants
Example: " I have to have this operation. It isn't very serious. I have this tiny little tumor on the brain."
- The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger