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Literary Terminology with Examples
Terms in this set (77)
Definition of Theme
Central idea of a work of literature
Examples of themes in Lord of the Flies
Civilization vs. savagery; the loss of innocence; innate human evil
Definition of Irony
A contrast or discrepancy between what is stated and what is really meant, or between what is expected to happen and what actually does happen.
Example of Irony in Lord of the Flies
The fire that was meant to kill and destroy saved them from the island.
Definition of Allusion
A direct or indirect reference to something which is presumably commonly known, such as an event, book, myth, place, or work of art. Allusions can be historical, literary, religious, topical, or mythical. There are many more possibilities, and a work may simultaneously use multiple layers of allusion.
Definition of Symbol
A thing that represents or stands for something else, especially a material object representing something abstract.
Example of symbol in Lord of the Flies
Conch-unity and order; The Fire-Destruction; Piggy's Specs-Destruction of Order; Pig Hunts-Savagery;The Beastie/Lord of the Flies-Evil in Humanity
Definition of flashback
A method of narration in which present action is temporarily interrupted so that the reader can witness past events.
Example of flashback in Lord of the Flies
Chapter 7- "Ralph retreats to a fond memory of the 'cottage on the edge of the moors' "
Definition of Diction
A writer's or speaker's choice of words
Example of diction in Lord of the Flies
"The storm of sound beat at them, an incantation of hatred. High overhead, Roger, with a sense of delirious abandonment, leaned all his weight on the lever." This slow build up to the death of Piggy provides us with a ton of background noise in our own heads.
Definition of syntax
Sentence structure-ex complex,simple,compound sentence
Example of syntax in Lord of the Flies
"when they had done laughing, Simon stroked Ralph's arm shyly; and they had to laugh again."
Definition of tone
A writer's attitude toward his or her subject matter revealed through diction, figurative language, and organization on the sentence and global levels.
Example of tone in Lord of the Flies
"the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on to the beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore" - dark tone
Definition of mood
Feeling or atmosphere that a writer creates for the reader
Example of mood in Lord of the Flies
sadness/sympathy- when Simon dies
Definition of setting
The context in time and place in which the action of a story occurs.
Setting of Lord of the Flies
Uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean, at an unknown during the 1950's in a fictional atomic war (WWIII)
Definition of Rising Action
Events leading up to the climax
Rising action in Lord of the Flies
Building the fire the first time, killing the pig
Definition of protagonist
Main character in a story
Example of protagonist in Lord of the Flies
Definition of antagonist
A character or force in conflict with the main character
Example of antogonist in Lord of the Flies
Definition of exposition
introduces the character and setting, and provides background information
Expositon in Lord of the Flies
Plane crashes on a pacific island and there are no adults on the island and all the kids met at the beginning of the novel and where coming together (chapter 1-2)
Definition of climax
Most exciting moment of the story; turning point
Climax in Lord of the Flies
When they find the "beast"/ the dead parachutist
Definition of Falling Action
Events after the climax, leading to the resolution
Falling Action in Lord of the Flies
All the boys abandon Ralph and Piggy and descend further into savagery and chaos; the other boys kill Piggy and destroy the conch shell, Ralph flees from Jack's tribe and encounters the naval officer on the beach.
Definition of denouement/resolution
The resolution of the plot
Denourement/resolution in Lord of the Flies
The resolution is when Ralph and the boys got saved by the naval officer.
Definition of point of view-first
A narrator who is a character in the story and tells the tale from his or her point of view.
Definition of point of view- third limited
A type of point-of-view in which the narrator only knows the thoughts and feelings of one character
Definition of point of view- third omniscient
The narrator knows what's going to happen before the people in the book do
In which point of view is The Lord of the Flies written in?
Third person omniscient
Definition of narrator
Person telling the story
Definition of speaker/persona
narrator of a poem
Definition of characterization-direct
Author directly describes character
Example of characterization- direct in Lord of the Flies
"There was a mildness about his mouth and eyes that proclaimed no devil."- Quote about Jack
Definition of characterization-indirect
Author subtly reveals the character through actions and interactions.
Definition of flat character
Characters who are simple and one dimensional.
Example of flat character in the Lord of the Flies
Roger- He is evil and ends up killing Piggy.
Definition of dynamic character
Characters that develop and grow throughout the course of a story.
Example of dynamic character in the Lord of the Flies
Ralph-he went from civilized from savage as the book progressed.
Definition of static characters
Characters that remain the same throughout the story.
Example of static character in the Lord of the Flies
Piggy-He was loyal to Ralph throughout the entire story and did not turn savage.
Definition of Round Characters
Characters who have many personality traits, like real people.
Example of round character in the Lord of the Flies
Example of characterization-indirect in Lord of the Flies
Ralph- through his actions of trying to bring sense and order
Types of characterization indirect
Speech, thoughts, effect (What effect does the character have on other people?), actions, looks
Definition of foil
A character who is in most ways opposite to the main character (protagonist) or one who is nearly the same as the protagonist. The purpose of the foil character is to emphasize the traits of the main character by contrast only
Example of foiling in Lord of the Flies
Jack and Ralph
Definition of Parallelism
Parallelism often either juxtaposes contrasting images or ideas so as to show their stark difference, or joins similar concepts to show their connection.
Definition of parallel characters
2 characters that develop similarly/ have similar personalities
Example of parallism in Lord of the Flies
The hunt for the pig, the hunt for Ralph
Example of parallel character in Lord of the Flies
Jack and Roger
Definition of Paradox
A statement that is contradictory, but when though about is true
Example of paradox in Lord of the Flies
The beast-something that doesn't exist that can frighten someone, yet logic would suggest that we must be frightened about something.
Definition of oxymoron
Two contradictory words used in a phrase
Example of oxymoron in Lord of the Flies
"We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages."
Definition of suspense/tension
The feeling of excitement or nervousness
Example of suspense/tension in Lord of the Flies
When Simon is trying to tell the boys about the beast before they slaughter him.
Definition of pun
A joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words that sound alike but have different meanings.
Definition of motif
A recurring theme, subject or idea
Example of motif in Lord of the Flies
Definition of juxtaposition
placing two elements side by side to present a comparison or contrast
Example of juxtaposition in Lord of the Flies
Ralph represents civility and Jack represent savagery. Putting these two characters against one another on the island in the constant struggle for authority and leadership creates a theme.
man vs self
where the character's main problems exist within him or her self
man vs nature
A dramatic struggle between a character and something that is caused by nature
man vs man
conflict of one person against another
man vs society
A character has a conflict or problem with some element of society - the school, the law, etc.
Example of man vs. self in Lord of the Flies
Ralph doesn't know if he can handle being leader. He is constantly second guessing himself, he feels powerless against Jack's manipulation.
Example of man vs. nature in Lord of the Flies
Jack's hunt for the pig and meat
Example of man vs. society in Lord of the Flies
Piggy is constantly humiliated by the boys even though he has so much to offer.
Example of man vs. man in Lord of the Flies
Jack vs. Ralph to be leader
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