How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

37 terms

Shani - Literary terms

Short story
A story - shorter than a novel - dealing with a single dominant incident. Always fiction. Involves conflicts, characters, settings, etc.
Prose writing. Relates people and events. Imagined and created by an author. Not real.
Ordinary form of spoken or written language (not arranged in poetic form).
Literary conflict
Interplay of two opposing forces. The essential element of any piece of fiction. The CENTRAL conflict must be overcome by the MAIN character.
Types of conflict
Individual vs. individual / individual vs. self / individual vs. society / individual vs. environment / individual vs. fate / individual vs. nature
Relates the story. 3 types:
First person narrator
"I" form of narrastion. Limited point of view, cannot enter minds of other characters.
Third person limited narrator
Cannot enter minds of all characters. Usually reveals one characters view of events.
Third person Omniscient narrator
Able to reveal or consceal any or all of what the characters are thinking, feeling or doing.
Functions of the narrator
Tell story / ask questions that reader would ask / act as a foil to the main character.
A fictional personality created by an author.
Major character
The person around whom the conflict/plot of the story revolves.
Minor character
A person who appears in a story but is not essential to it.
Methods of characterization
Speach, actions, inner thoughts, physical appearence, psycological condition (emotional state), characters reaction to another, central (inner) conflict
"positive" opposing force.
"Negative" opposing force.
The TIME and PLACE in which a piece of fiction occurs. Can be stated or implied.
TIME setting
Past / present / future
PLACE setting
Apace of any kind. (room, town, country.)
VITAL setting
A place where the setting plays an essential role in the conflict.
When a setting only serves as a background to a story.
Single effect
When every word and detail of the setting creates a single effect (usually one of HORROR, REVULSION, DISGUST) on the reader.
The significant pattern of events in a short story, novel, play, etc. Usually involves one or more conflicts (internal or external). reveals how the conflict develops.
Plot structure
Intro. and exposition, rising (inciting) actions, climax, falling (decending) action, conclusion ("Denouement").
Decisive action or turning point in the story.
The point when opposing forces have a decisive confrontation, from which they cannot escape their fates.
Point of greatest interest to the reader. may occur at same time as technical. If not, technical occurs before it
Literary technique, where author hints at future events that will occur in story, in order to keep reader reading.
When action of the story is interrupted to relate an episode that occured in an earlier time. It helps to make the plot clearer.
The effect of implying a meaning that is different from the "surface" meaning.
Types of Irony
3 types:
Verbal Irony
When a character says something that is the exact opposite of what s/he really means.
Situational Irony
When an event contrary to the one being expected occurs.
Dramatic Irony
When reader or spectator knows more about the true state of affairs than the characters do.
The underlying meaning of literary work., A general truth about life or humankind. Could also be a topic which appears frequently in authors mind. Often implied than stated.
A concrete, tangible item (object, colour, name, event, etc.) used to represent an abstract idea or feeling. example : a HEART symbolizes LOVE.
A statement which tells how life should be lived.