40 terms

Hines Literary Terms

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Agency
a capacity of an agent( character, entity, etc) to act in a world or to impact/affect the narrative
Allusion
figure of speech that makes a reference to, or representation of, a place, event, literary work, myth, or work of art, either directly or by implication. . . An expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference
Analogy
comparison made between one thing and another for the purpose of explanation or clarification
Bildungsroman
German word for a novel in which an adolescent protagonist comes to adulthood by a process of experience
Characterization
author's use of description, dialogue, and action to create a character and illustrate a character's motivation within the story. Moreover, it invokes in the reader an emotional or intellectual reaction to a character and may reveal geographic, social, or cultural background of the character as well.
Cliche
trite phrase that has become overused. For example: "It's only a matter of time." or "the writing was on the wall"
Close Reading Formalism
A) Literary interpretation carefully examines the forms (individual and collective) that express or define style and content in texts or textual passages. Observations or conclusions are based not only on what the text is saying but how. The language of the text and how it creates meaning are the primary foci of research. For example, analysis might focus on symbols or on figures of speech, such as metaphors or their development as extended metaphors, and how such figures of speech shape the meaning of the text or what it is capable of saying.
B) Close reading or formalism may be implicit in studies of a literary work's textuality, but textuality may also extend beyond the individual text to historicism or intertextuality.
C) Dangers or downsides:
i. Focus on formal qualities may blunt or obscure social or historical questions that the test potentially engages.
ii. Consequently, formalism or close reading teaches or practices critical thinking over knowledge or cultural literacy.
Convention
a way in which something is usually done, especially within a particular area or activity
Demographics
a) characteristics of human populations, such as size, growth, density, distribution, and vital statistics.
b) Literature (spoken or written) turns social facts into stories, identities, character, meaning
Domesticity
a) domestic literature expresses affection for the home and family relations and values
b) expresses affection for home and its material comforts
Double Entendre
a) A double meaning; a word or phrase having a double sense, esp. as used to convey an indelicate meaning
b) a double meaning. Typically one of the interpretations is rather obvious whereas the other is more subtle. The more subtle of the interpretations ay convey a message that would be socially awkward, sexually suggestive or offensive to state directly
Emulation
a) idea of improvement by imitation
b) ambition or endeavor to equal or excel others (as in achievement)
Escapism
the desire to retreat into imaginative entertainment rather than deal with the stress, tedium, and daily problems of the mundane world
Euphemism
that figure of speech which consists in the substitution of a word or expression of comparatively favorable implication or less unpleasant associations, instead of the harsher or more offensive one that would more precisely designate what is intended.
Exposition
a) The presentation of essential information regarding what has occurred prior
b) immediate revelation tot the audience of the setting and other background information necessary for understanding the plot; also, explanation
c) Expository Writing
- writing intended to explain the nature of an idea, thing, or theme. Expository writing is often combined with description, narration, or argument
Hyperbole
exaggerated or extravagant statement, used to express strong feeling or produce a strong impression, and not intended to be understood literally.
Image
an image is a word or words that create a sensory impression , most often visual but also sound, touch, taste, and smell(or combinations)
Incongruity
disagreement in character or qualities; want of accordance or harmony; discrepancy, inconsistency
Innuendo
An oblique hint, indirect suggestion; an allusive remark concerning a person or thing, esp. one of a depreciatory kind
Irony
Verbal: a figure of speech in which the intended meaning is the opposite of that expressed by the words used; usually taking the form of sarcasm or ridicule in which laudatory expressions are used to imply condemnation or contempt.
Situational: condition of affairs or events of a character opposite to what was, or might naturally be, expected; a contradictory outcome of events as if in mockery of the promise and fitness of things
Dramatic: the incongruity created when the (tragic) significance of a character's speech or actions is revealed to the audience but unknown to the character concerned; the literary device so used, originally in Greek tragedy
Matriarchal
social legitimacy linked to the mother; ruling power to women
Metaphor
a) Comparison
b) Aristotle, Rhetoric: 'Metaphor is the application to one thing of the name belonging to another...
c) speaking of the unknown in terms of the known or the unfamiliar in terms of the familiar
d) metaphor makes sense of the unknown by comparing it to the known
e) extended metaphor
- a metaphor that continues into following passages of work, whether lines of a poem or chapters of a novel
f) literary conceit = an ingenious extended metaphor
Narrative
a) an academic or scholarly term for "story" or "plot"
b) stories operate unconsciously as much as they do consciously, making narrative analysis feel sometimes inappropriate or unwelcome. But these difficulties also prove the power of narrative: so many things are going in a story that no single perspective comprehends the whole. A good story is greater than the sum of its parts and has more power than can be explained
c) stories are exercises in problem-solving, as in a mystery, a detective story, or a vengeance narrative
Nostalgia
a) acute longing for familiar sounding, esp. regarded as a medical condition; homesickness
b) sentimantal longing for or regretful memory of a period of the past, esp. one in an individual's own lifetime
Novella
an extended fictional prose narrative that is longer than a short story, but not quite as long as a novel
Patriarchal
social legitimacy linked to the father; ruling power to men
Persona
a) a character in a play, novel, etc ( The word is derived from Latin, where it originally referred to a theatrical mask)
b) an assumed identity or character
Personification
the attribution of human form, nature, or characteristics to something; the representation of a thing or abstraction as a person
Picturesque
a) having the elements or qualities of a picture; suitable for a picture; spec. (of a view, landscape, etc)
b) pleasing or striking in appearance; scenic
c) pretty in an undeveloped or old-fashioned way; charming, quaint, unspoilt
Romanticize
to make romantic or idealized in character; to make (something) seem better or more appealing than it really is
Sarcasm
a) a sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark; a bitter gibe or taunt
b) a cutting, often ironic remark intended to wound
Satire
a) a poem or... prose composition, in which prevailing vices or follies are held up to ridicule
b)the employment, in speaking or writing, of sarcasm, irony, ridicule, etc. in exposing, denouncing, deriding, pr ridiculing vice, folly, indecorum, abuses, or evils of any kind
Simplicity
a) in the context of human lifestyle, simplicity can denote freedom from hardship, effort or confusion
b)identify the essential
Subjectivity
the quality or condition of viewing things chiefly or exclusively through the medium of one's own mind or individually; the condition of being dominated by or absorbed in one's personal feelings, thoughts, concerns, etc.; individuality
Tone
a) the writer's or speaker's attitude toward material. tone may be playful, formal, intimate angry, serious, ironic, outraged, baffled, tender, serene, depressed, etc
b) tone differs from mode because it describes how the author or narrator feels about the characters, whereas mood describes how the reader feels when reading the story
Trope
a common or overused theme or device
Universalization/Universality
qualities of literature that appeal to readers in a wide variety of cultures and across a wide variety of historical periods--ie, basic emotions, situations, values, and attitudes that readers can relate to regardless of other cultural or historical differences
Utopia (& Dystopia)
an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect
Vicarious
a) that takes or supplies the place of another thing or person; substituted instead of the proper thing or person
b) performed or achieved by means of another, or by one person, etc., on behalf of another
c) experienced imaginatively through another person or agency
Viewpoint (Point of View)
a) the position from which something is seen or viewed; the perspective from which a subject or event it perceived, or a story, etc... narrated
b) first person: The narrator is a character in the story and refers to himself as "I"
c) second person: the reader is the main character. Narrator uses the pronoun "you" when referring to the main character
d) third person: Neither the reader nor the narrator is the main character. Narrator uses the pronoun "he" or "she" when referring to the main character
e) third-person omniscient: The narrator can tell what is going on in the minds of all the characters
f) third-person limited: the narrator can tell what is going on in one or two of the characters, usually the main character