Literary Terms

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41 terms

genre

a kind of literary or artistic work

prose

writing in sentence and paragraph form

poetry

rhythmic, compressed writing

fiction

a literary work based on the imagination

non fiction

a literary work based on fact

short story

a condensed form of prose fiction

novella

a work of prose fiction longer than a short story but shorter than a novel (usually about 100 pages)

novel

an extended work of prose fiction

character

an agent of the plot in a literary work

antagonist

the character who works against the protagonist

protagonist

the principal character in a work of fiction

plot

the ordered events in a literary work

plot line

the graphic display of the action or events in a story.

rising action

the events leading up to the climax

climax

the decisive moment in a novel or play, often the moment of most emotion

falling action

the resolution of a plot

denouement

synonym for falling action

foreshadowing

hints from the author about what is going to happen

suspense

Uncertainty or anxiety the reader feels about what is going to happen

flashback

a transition to an earlier event or scene that interrupts the normal chronology of the story

5 kinds of conflict

man vs. man
man vs. nature
man vs. fate/the gods
man vs. society
man vs. himself

setting

where and when the story takes place

social milieu

the attitudes of the people of the setting

theme

the author's message in his work. It can be stated in a sentence about MANKIND.

point of view

the angle from which a story is told

common points of view

first person
third person
omniscient

style

the distinctive way in which an author writes

mood

the emotional atmosphere of a literary work

tone

the author's attitude

irony

incongruity between what is expected and what occurs

3 kinds of irony

verbal irony
situational irony
dramatic irony

imagery

using words to paint a mental picture

symbolism

using a simple thing to stand for something more complicated

simile

a comparison using LIKE, AS, or SEEMS

metaphor

a comparison stated as fact

personification

using words to treat inanimate things as if they were living

hyperbole

purpposeful, huge exaggeration

oxymoron

conjoining contradictory terms (deafening silence, jumbo shrimp)

allusion

a a mention or reference to history, literature, or culture

epiphany

a moment of sudden understanding or insight

juxtapostion

two unlike words or ideas placed side by side. Ex: The sad clown danced happily through the butchery

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