Short Fiction/Novel Study Literary Terms

61 terms by amoose136

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From Mrs. Smith's AP English 12 class at Farragut. This deck is provided courtesy of the class of 2012 and quizlet.

aestheticism

devotion to the idea of beauty in art

allegory

an expressive style that uses fictional characters and events to describe some subject by suggestive resemblances

allusion

a reference to another work of literature, person, or event

ambiguity

unclearness by virtue of having more than one meaning

annotation

Explanatory notes added to a text to explain, cite sources, or give bibliographical data.

anti-hero

a protagonist who lacks the characteristics that would make him a hero (or her a heroine)

antithesis

opposition, or contrast of ideas or words in a balanced or parallel construction

archetype

an original model on which something is patterned

artistic unity

The condition of a successful literary work whereby all of its elements work together for the achievement of its central purpose. In an artistically unified work nothing is included that is irrelevant and nothing is excluded that is essential.

bildungsroman

a type of novel concerned with the education, development, and maturing of a young protagonist.

black humor

the use of disturbing themes in comedy

catharsis

a release of emotional tension

characterization

the process by which the writer reveals the personality of a character

chance

an unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that causes an event to result one way rather than another

character foil

a character who represents a sharp contrast with the protagonist and thus serves to stress and highlight the protagonists distinctive temperament

chronological order

the order in which events happen in time

coincidence

the chance occurrence, at the same time, of two or more seemingly connected events; V. coincide: happen at the same time; be in agreement; CF. coincident; CF. coincidental

comic relief

the inclusion of a humorous character or scene to contrast with the tragic elements of a work, thereby intensifying the next tragic event.

commercial fiction

fiction written to meet the taste of a wide popular audience and relying usually on tested formulas for satisfying such taste

connotation

an idea that is implied or suggested

conventional

following accepted customs and proprieties

denouement

the outcome of a complex sequence of events

dues ex machina

the employment of some unexpected and improbable incident to make things turn out right.

diction

the manner in which something is expressed in words, aka word choice

didactic

intended to instruct

dramatic irony

(theater) irony that occurs when the meaning of the situation is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play

dynamic character

one whose character changes in the course of the play or story

epigraph

a saying or statement on the title page of a work, or used as a heading for a chapter or other section of a work

epiphany

a moment of sudden revelation or insight

exposition

The introductory material which gives the setting, creates the tone, presents the characters, and presents other facts necessary to understanding the story.

explication

The art of interpreting or discovering the meaning of a text. It usually involves close reading and special attention to figurative language.

farce

(n.) a play filled with ridiculous or absurd happenings; broad or far-fetched humor; a ridiculous sham

flat character

a character who embodies a single quality and who does not develop in the course of a story

foreshadowing

the act of providing vague advance indications

genre

a major category or type of literature

hamartia

the character flaw or error of a tragic hero that leads to his downfall

hubris

excessive pride or self-confidence

imagery

a word or group of words in a literary work which appeal to one or more of the senses: sight, taste, touch, hearing, and smell

literary fiction

fiction written with serious artistic intentions, providing an imagined experience yielding authentic insights into some significant aspect of life

mood

the overall emotion created by a work of literature

motif

a principal idea, feature, theme, or element; a repeated or dominant figure in a design

parable

a short narrative designed to teach a moral lesson

paradox

a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.

parody

a work which imitates another in a ridiculous manner

point of view

the perspective from which a story is told

protagonist

the principal character in a work of fiction

round character

a character who is well developed by the author and who many characteristics

sarcasm

n. harsh, often ironic ridicule, intended to hurt

satire

form of literature in which irony, sarcasm, and ridicule are employed to attack human vice and folly

setting

arrangement of scenery and properties to represent the place where a play or movie is enacted

situational irony

occurs when the outcome of a work is unexpected, or events turn out to be the opposite from what one had expected

static character

a character that does not change from the beginning of the story to the end

stock character

the stereotyped character in which he is immediately known from typical characters in history

stream of consciousness

a style of writing that portrays the inner (and often chaotic) workings of a character's mind, usually consisting of a recording of the random flow of ideas, memories, associations, images, and emotions, as they arise spontaneously in a character's mind

style

the distinctive quality of speech or writing created by the selection and arrangement of words and figures of speech

symbol

anything that stands for or represents something else

theme

a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in a literary or artistic work

tone

The attitude of the author toward the audience and characters (e.g., serious or humorous).

tragic hero

A literary character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy

verbal irony

A figure of speech in which what is said is the opposite of what is meant, aka sarcasm

verisimilitude

(n.) the quality of appearing to be true, real, likely, or probable

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