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52 terms

Literary Terms English 9

Key literary elements and terms which could appear on the final exam.
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abstract subject
a broad or general statement of the subject of a story.
allusion
a reference, sometimes subtle, to an earlier literary work or historical event or character.
antagonist
the person or force which is set up in conflict against the main character
characterization
the methods by which an author builds and develops the identities of people in a story
climax
the high point of tension and suspense in a story
concrete subject
the literal, specific subject of a story
colloquial language
a style of writing that reflects how people actually speak, not necessarily standard English.
conflict
the tension between the protagonist and the antagonist in a story
connotation
the emotional spin of a word
denotation
the dictionary definition of a word
dialogue
conversation between two or more characters
diction
the level and type of language and vocabulary used
elements of literature
the parts or building blocks used by writers to create fiction
exposition
the process of revealing essential information about the story usually early in the narrative.
flat character
a simple character who does not change or develop in the course of a story
figurative language
imaginative and non-literal uses of language
first person narrator
the voice telling the story refers to him or herself as an integral part of the story
image
a word or phrase that triggers a sensory perception
irony
the effect of the surface meaning of a word or phrase being undercut by a different underlying meaning
limited omniscient narrator
3rd person point of view restricted to the thoughts and feelings of a single character
metaphor
a figure of language where one thing is compared directly to another
motivation
the desires or the goals or aspirations of a character which direct his or her actions and choices.
narrator
the person whose voice is telling the story
omniscient narrator
3rd person point of view; all knowing; able to see inside all the characters
personification
a figure of language where a nonhuman thing is endowed with human characteristics
plot
the storyline; the sequence of events making up the story
point of view
the perspective from which a story is told
prose
conventional English arranged in sentences and paragraphs.
protagonist
usually the main character
resolution
the point at which the conflict in a narrative is brought to an end or at least suspended
rising action
the increase of tension or suspense in a narrative
round character
someone who is complex and has a range of characteristics, possibly even contradictory ones
setting
the time and the location of a story
simile
a figure of language where two things are compared using the words "like" or "as"
style
a writer's voice as reflected in their word choices and their sentence structure and their tone
subplot
a secondary storyline that spins off and usually reconnects with the main storyline.
symbol
a figure of language where a word or an object represents a larger idea
sympathetic character
a character the reader roots for or feels a kinship for
syntax
the structure and organization of a sentence
theme
an idea or issue which recurs in a story and is, therefore, an essential part of the subject of the story
Third person narrator
the voice telling the story is not directly involved in the action of the story.
tone
the attitude conveyed by an author towards their subject matter and/or towards their audience
unreliable narrator
a narrative voice that may be lying, exaggerating, or misunderstanding the events he or she is retelling.
fiction
imaginative prose writing characterized by invented subject matter
nonfiction
informative writing representing truthful claims about subject matter
suspense
an effect related to the way in which a writer withholds information from the reader thus keeping the resolution in doubt.
objective or journalistic point of view
writing that seeks to inform by making accurate factual claims based on careful and balanced research.
persuasive
writing that uses factual claims and claims of value to argue for a particular position or point of view
claims of fact
assertions that can be verified by outside sources
claims of value
subjective assertions that assign importance or priority to certain ideas or concepts.
ambiguity
the quality of a gesture, an event or a word or phrase that allows it to be interpreted in more than one way
genre
a type or category of literature like short story, novel, epic, essay, memoir or drama that determines basic rules governing the form and the purpose of that writing.