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Literary Terms for my Lit. class.


By being oposite or very different from another person, it brings out and makes more apparent character traits that are in the other.


Assigns human traits to an object or animal that isn't human. Gives a lifeless thing life, human movements, or human behavior to an animal.


Gives an idea or abstract concept human traits


Difference between appearance and reality, or between what is expected and what happens.


Brief quotation at the beginning of a book or chapter to suggest it's theme.


Comparing two unrelated things using like or as.


Brief reference to a literary or historical person or event, with which the reader is assumed to be familiar.


A literary device an author uses to inform the reader of events that have happened in the past.


The feeling or emotion that an author evokes through the use of sensory words or phrases.

False Climax

A way of increasing dramatic tension, when the complication or danger reasserts itself after the author has led you to believe it is resolved.


The arrangement of two or more ideas, characters, actions, or settings side by side or in a smililar narrative, for the purpose of comparison, contrast, rhetorical affect, suspense, or character development.


A speech or dramatic monologue, usually with out an audience, and alone on stage. Provides background information or reveals a characters innermost feelings.

Dramatic Irony

When a reader sees a characters mistakes that the character is unable to see them self.

Literary Contrivance.

A story element or plot development that seems unrealistic, but is necessary for the story to continue.


Tells the setting and introduces the characters, and some background information at times.

Inciting Incident

A single incident, with out which there would be no story.

Rising action

Describes the writers attempt to create tension and suspense leading up to the high point of the story.


Moment of greatest tension.

Falling Action

Events that take place as a result of the climax.


Remaining questions are answered, and the final answer to the climax is revealed.


Comparison between two unrelated objects in which the one is described in terms of the other.


Main character, or hero.


Bad guy or guys, or thing, or things.


Man vs self, nature, society, man, internal, and external.

Point of View

Perspective from which a story is told.


A central concept or idea that is explored in a work and gives a work unity.


The attitude an author takes toward his subject.

Framework story

A story told within the framework of another story

Character analysis

Judging a person from what they say or do, and what others say about them.

Poetic Justice

A character receives what he or she deserves in a manner befitting the characters previous behavior.

Dynamic Character

A character that changes over the course of the story.

Static Character

A character that remains the same over the course of the story.


Show how something is similar and alike.


Show how something is different.

The willing suspension of disbelief

That something generally impossible or implausible is made to seem possible.

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