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use of ridiculous situations to point out the meaningless of life in a worl which is without absolutes and in which man is given no dignity as a human


story in which characters, action, and/or setting represent abstract concepts or moral qualities


reference to a well-known person, event, story, place, or work of art meant to evoke certain associations


comparison between two seemingly unlike items or situations to provide insight into the nature of one or both


character in conflict with the protagonist, often the villian


flawed protagonist who lacks the conventional qualities of a classic hero


image, story patterns, or character type used often enough to be recognized on its own and evokes an unconscious response


emotional aura of a piece


mean by which a writer reveals a character's personality

Direct characterization

telling you directly the idea of the character

Indirect characterization

through character's description, speech, actions, thoughts/emotions, and/or other character's views

Classical Comedy

play with a happy ending written to amuse, which appeals to the intellect; instructs people and society to be better by using humor

Classical tragedy

drama where the protagonist suffers disaster but in doing so attains heroic stature

Classic hero

protagonist who possesses superhuman qualities, aka a romantic hero


decisive point in the plot; the point of greatest intensity or interest; point where problems start to be resolved


the struggle between two or more opposing forces kor characters in a plot; man vs man; man vs nature; man vs society


the emotional meaning of a word


the dictionary meaning of a word


the resolution of the conflict


pupose of this is for characterization, exposition, mood, plot, theme, commentary on action


author's word choice


story told by means of dialogue

Dramatic irony

occurs when the audience or reader knows more than the characters

Dynamic character

character that experiences some kind of change in personality or attitude during the course of the story


belief that man merely exists upon birth, and his life has no meaning; life is meaningless; if there is a meaning the pepole create it; on meaning is the meaning you bring to it


section of the plot that presents information essential to understanding the story


work that takes place in an unreal world, concerns incredible characters, or employs physical and scientific principles not yet discovered


comedy that depends on outlandish situations and often features slapstick

Figurative language

language that is not intended to be interpreted in a literal sense


scene that interrupts the actions to show an event that happened earlier, providing background information

Flat character

one-dimensional character that is only known from one limited aspect


character established as opposite of another character to emphasize certain qualities of that other character


the use of clues to hint at events that will occur later in the plot


a major category or type of literature


character who has become bizarre, usually through some kind of obsession with an idea, a value, or an assumption; usually one-dimensional and possesses one or more exagerated personality traits


use of extreme exaggeration to either ezalt or diminish


creating a mental picture through the use of words or phrases; use of five senses


comparison of two unlike things for descriptive purposes


emphasizes new ways of expression and such themes as the chaotic and alienating nature of modern life


atmosphere; tone


a reoccuring feature that generally contributes to the theme or mood of a literary work


a short novel; longer than a short story


statement that seems to be self-contradictory on the surface


the humorous imitation of a work of literature


giving a non-human thing human characteristics for descriptive purposes

1st person

the narrator is a character in the story "I"

3rd person limited

the narrator reveals thoughts, feelings, and observations of only one character "he" or "she"

3rd person omniscient

narrator isn't a character, but someone who stands outside the story and comments on the action


main character


tendancy to stress the limitations that everyday living imposes on humanity and to show how these limitations affect the nature of life


end of a story

Round character

fully-developed character


technique used to ridicule a subject, usually some human foible or insitiution; use humor to encourage reform


comparing two unluike things for descriptive purposes while using like or as

Situational irony

refers to a happening that is the opposite of what is expected or intended

Static character

character that remains the same throughout the story


pattern that underlies a piece; important starting point when analyzing a work of literature


author's use of language in terms of diction, syntax, figurative language, etc.


quality of a literary work that makes the reader or audience uncertain or tense about the outcome of events


any object, person, place, or action that has meaning in itself and that also stands for something larger than itself


use of sentence structure to enhance or reinforce imagery


the main idea of a story


the attitude and feelings an author expresses, which may be inferred from what he sayd and how he says it

Verbal irony

contrast between what is said and what actually is or meant

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