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Terms in this set (44)
A narrative or description having a second meaning beneath the surface one. A story, fictional or nonfiction, in which characters, things, and events represent qualities or concepts.
The repetition at close intervals of initial identical consonant sounds. Or, vowel sounds in successive words or syllables that repeat.
An indirect reference to something with which the reader is expected to be familiar. Allusions are usually literary, historical, Biblical, or mythological.
An analogy is a comparison to a directly parallel case. When a writer uses an analogy, he or she argues that a claim reasonable for one case is reasonable for the analogous case.
A brief recounting of a relevant episode. Anecdotes are often inserted into fictional or nonfiction texts as a way of developing a point or injecting humor.
An address to the dead as if living; to the inanimate as if animate; to the absent as if present; to the unborn as if alive. Examples: "O Julius Caesar thou are mighty yet; thy spirit walks abroad," or "Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean, roll."
"images" of character, plot pattern, symbols recur in literature and evoke profound emotional responses in the reader because they resonate with an image already existing in our unconscious mind, e.g. death, rebirth.
A dramatic convention by which an actor directly addresses the audience but it is not supposed to be heard by the other actors on the stage.
The method an author uses to develop characters in a work. In direct characterization, the author straightforwardly states the character's traits. With indirect characterization, those traits are implied through what the character says, does, how the character dresses, interacts with other characters, etc.
Rather than the dictionary definition, the associations associated by a word. Implied meaning rather than literal meaning or denotation.
Word choice, particularly as an element of style.
A major character's moment of realization or awareness.
The use of a word or phrase that is less direct, but is also considered less distasteful or less offensive than another. E.g. "He is at rest" instead of "He is dead."
a literary form or type; classification. e.g. tragedy, comedy, novel, essay, poetry.
Overwhelming pride or insolence that results in the misfortune of the protagonist of a tragedy. It is the particular form of tragic flaw that results from excessive pride, ambition, or overconfidence.
Conscious exaggeration used to heighten effect. Not intended literally,
The use of images, especially in a pattern of related images, often figurative, to create a strong unified sensory impression (touch, taste, smell, sight, hear)
When a reader is aware of a reality that differs from a character's perception of reality (dramatic irony)/ The literal meaning of a writer's words may be verbal irony. Generally speaking, a discrepancy between expectation and reality.
A comparison of two things, often unrelated. A figurative verbal equation results where both "parts" illuminate one another.
An atmosphere created by a writer's word choice (diction) and the details selected. Syntax is also a determiner of mood because sentence strength, length, and complexity affect pacing.
The lesson drawn from a fictional or nonfictional story.
A frequently recurrent character, incident, or concept in literature.
The use of a word whose pronunciation suggests its meaning. "Buzz," "hiss," "slam," and "pop" are commonly used examples.
Figurative Language in which inanimate objects, animals, ideas, or abstractions are endowed with human traits or human form—e.g. "When Duty whispers..."
Plot System of actions represented in a dramatic or narrative work.
Point of View
The perspective from which a fictional or nonfictional story is told. First-person, third-person, or third-person omniscient points of view are commonly used.
Protagonist Chief character in a dramatic or narrative work, usually trying to accomplish some objective or working toward some goal.
Word or phrase used two or more times in close proximity.
Locale and period in which the action takes place.
A figurative comparison of two things, often dissimilar, using the connecting words: "like," "as,"
The choices in diction, tone, and syntax that a writer makes. In combination they create a work's manner of expression.
A thing, event, or person that represents or stands for some idea or event.
In grammar, the arrangement of words as elements in a sentence to show their relationship.
A central idea of a work of fiction or nonfiction, revealed and developed in the course of a story or explored through argument.
A writer's attitude toward his or her subject matter revealed through diction, figurative language, and organization of the sentence and global levels.
Representations of serious actions which turn out disastrously. (Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth)
Tragic error in judgment; a mistaken act which changes the fortune of the tragic hero from happiness to misery. (Oedipus)
Character who undergoes changes during the course of a literary work; he/she is not the same at the beginning and the end of a work.
Character who remains the same throughout the story; he/she is no different at the end than he/she was at the beginning. He/she doesn't learn, grow, or change
Man versus Man
Theme in literature where there is a disagreement between two individuals, two small groups, or two large groups over an issue of importance
Man versus Self
Type of Internal conflict where an individual is torn about what to do in a given situation
Man versus Society
Theme in fiction in which a main character's, or group of main characters', main source of disagreement is social traditions, practices, or concepts.
Man versus Nature
theme in literature that places a character against forces of nature, like flood and fire
The adversary of the hero or protagonist of a drama or other literary work; he/she often seeks out evil, greed, and injustice.
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50 lit terms