43 terms

Short Story Literary Terms

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Allusion
an indirect reference to another literary work or to a famous person, place, or event.
Character
people who take part in the action of a story or a novel..
Characterization
the methods that a writer uses to develop characters - either directly or indirectly.
Diction
A writer or speaker's choice of words and way of arranging words in sentences is called diction.
Dialect
a regional variety of language distinguished by features of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation.
Denotation
A word's literal and primary meaning, independent of any connotations; the "dictionary definition" of the word.
Connotation
Emotional associations or secondary meanings of a word that a given individual might attach to it.
Figurative Language
language that communicates ideas beyond the ordinary, literal meanings of works. Special types include personification, simile, and metaphor.
Metaphor
a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things and do no use the word like or as.
Simile
a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things using the words like or as.
Personification
a figure of speech in which human qualities are attributed to an object, animal, or idea.
Hyperbole
a figure of speech in which the truth is exaggerated for emphasis or for humorous effect.
Onomatopoeia
the use of words such as pow, buzz, and crunch whose pronunciations suggest their meanings.
Flashback
a conversation, an episode, or an event that happened before the beginning of a story. Often it interrupts the chronological flow of a story to give the reader information to help in an understanding a character's present situation.
Foreshadowing
a writer's habit or clues to indicate events and situations that will occur in a later plot. The use of this technique creates suspense while at the same time preparing the reader for what is to come.
Imagery
descriptive words and phrases that re-create sensory experiences for the reader. usually appeals to one or more of the five senses -- sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch
Inference
the conclusion a reader draws from what is implied but not directly stated by the author.
Irony
a special kind of contrast between appearance and reality--one in which reality is the opposite from what is expected.
Verbal irony
when someone knowingly exaggerates or says one thing and means another.
Dramatic irony
where the reader or viewer knows something that a character does not know.
Situational irony
is the contrast between what a reader or character expects and what actually exists or happens.
Mood
the feeling or atmosphere that the writer creates for the reader.
Plot
The sequence of events in a story. Generally built around a conflict, the plot tells what happens, when, and to whom.
Setting
the time and place of action of a story.
Conflict
the struggle between opposing forces.
External Conflict
involves a character pitted against an outside force, such as nature, a physical obstacle, or another character.
Internal Conflict
a struggle that occurs within a character.
Antagonist
the principal character in opposition to the protagonist, or hero of the drama.
Protagonist
the central character or hero in a narrative or drama, usually the one with whom the audience tends to identify.
Point of View (POV)
the perspective from which events in a story or novel are told. usually either first person or third person.
First person POV
the narrator is the character in the story and tells everything in his or her own words.
Third person POV
a story is told by a narrative voice outside the action, not by one of the characters.
Third-person omniscient POV
all-knowing, point of view where the narrator sees into the minds of more than one character.
Third-person limited POV
the narrator tells only what one character thinks, feels, and observes.
Suspense
the excitement or tension that readers feel as they become involved in a story and eager to know the outcome.
Symbol
a person, place, activity, or object that stands for something beyond itself. For example, a dove is a common symbol for peace.
Theme
Theme is the main idea in a work of fiction. It is a perception about life or human nature that the writer shares with the reader. In most cases, the theme is not stated directly but must be inferred from the characters and situations in a story.
Tone
the attitude a writer takes toward a subject.
Satire
a literary technique in which ideas or customs are ridiculed for the purpose of improving society
Indirect Characterization
The author shows what a character is like through (1) a description of a character's physical appearance, (2) a character's speech, thoughts, feelings, or actions, (3) the speech, thoughts, feelings, or actions of other characters.
Direct Characterization
The author tells you what the character is like by direct comments about a character.
Rhetoric
the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the use of figures of speech and other compositional techniques.
Euphemism
a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing. (example: "passed away" instead of "died" or "made love" instead of "had sex"
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