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20 terms

Literary Terms

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Genre
A major category or type of literature.

Example: Drama, Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, etc.
Point of View
The perspective from which a story is told.

Example: The first person (Pronouns, me, myself, and I) and the third person (She, her, he, and him).
Narrative
The telling of a story or an account of an event or series of events.

Example: Spongebob is a narrative story.
Mood
The overall emotion created by a work of literature.

Example: Happy, Sad, Angry, or other emotion that a story projects.
Protagonist
The leading character, hero or heroine of a literary work.

Example: Spiderman in the Spiderman movies is a protagonist.
Setting
The context and environment in which something is set.

Example: Jessamyn house was in a very upbeat neighborhood where it was always sunny. It was a very modern concrete built house.
Style
The author's way of expressing something in a literary text.

Example: Some authors set their books up in parts while others write them in chapters.
Tone
The writer's or speaker's attitude toward the subject of a story, toward a character, or toward the audience (the readers).

Example: In the book News for Dogs the author talks badly about Jerry Gordon but good towards Andi and Bruce Walker.
Antagonist
The major character in a story who works against the hero or protagonist.

Example: The Lizard in the Amazing Spiderman
Theme
The main idea of a story.

Example: In the "Hunger Games" the theme was to stand up for what you think is right.
Foreshadowing
The use of clues to hint at events that will occur later in the plot.

Example: Foreshadowing is like seeing the future.
Flashback
A transition to an earlier event or scene that interrupts the normal chronological development of the story.

Example: In the book "Tangerine" Paul got flashbacks on how he really lost his sight.
Characterization
The process by which the writer reveals the personality of a character.

Example: The rowdy boy and loud girl were ill-tempered and had terrible manners.
Plot
The sequence of events in a story

Example: The whole storyline in Shrek is an example of plot.
Exposition
The introductory material which gives the setting, creates the tone, presents the characters, and presents other facts
necessary to understanding the story.

Example: The prologue in a story is exposition.
Conflict
A struggle between opposing forces (the protagonist and antagonist).

Example: In Dolphin Tale the conflict was Winter lost her tail and wouldn't wear a prosthetic one and the aquarium was losing money.
Falling Action
Events after the climax, leading to the resolution.

Example: In News for Dogs the falling action was when the dog owners received notes with ransoms for their dogs on them one at a time.
Climax
The highest point of interest in a literary work.

Example: In Scooby-Doo the climax point is usually when the antagonist confronts Mystery Inc.
Resolution
Solution to the conflict in a literary work.

Example: In Scooby-Doo the resolution is capturing the antagonist, unmasking them, and then sending them to jail.
Satire
A literary work that ridicules or criticizes a subject.

Example: When politicians run for the same positions the usually pay for ads with satire against the opposing runner in them.