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a story in poetry or prose in which characters, actions, or settings represent abstract ideas or moral qualities; it has two meanings, one literal and one symbolic


the repetition of initial sounds, usually consonants, in a group of words - "the fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, the furrow followed free."


a reference to a mythological, literary, or historical person, place, or thing that a writer expects a reader to recognize


the expression of an idea in language that suggests more than one, sometimes conflicting, meanings


a comparison between two things to show the similarities between them


the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or lines. - "we shall not flag or fail. we shall go on to the end. we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans..."


a very brief story, often one that makes a special point


explanatory words added to a text


a direct juxtaposition of structurally parallel words, phrases, or clauses for the purpose of contrast. - ex: "sink or swim"


a brief, clever statement about life


a form of personification in which the absent or dead are spoken to as if present and the inanimate, as if animate. they are all addressed directly


a verbal pattern in which the second half of the expression is balanced against the first but with the parts reversed. involves a reversal of structures in successive phrases or clauses. - ex: "fair is foul, and foul is fair." & "the question isn't whether Grape Nuts are good enough for you; it's whether you are good enough for Grape Nuts."


the use of slang or informalities in speech or writing; give work a conversational, familiar tone; can include local or regional dialects


the implied meaning of a word; all the meanings, associations, or emotions that a word suggests - ex: "death" has a negative/sad one of these


literal meaning of a word; dictionary definition


the characteristic speech of a particular region or social group


a writer's choice of words, particularly for clarity, effectiveness or precision


characteristic of a literary work which attempts to instruct or give guidance, particularly in moral, ethical, or religious matters; when used to describe literature, it is often derogatory in meaning since it implies a preachiness in tone which overshadows other aspects of the work


the use of a figure of speech or mild expression instead of a harsher or more direct one, usually in an effort to avoid offensive bluntness in some delicate subject. - ex: "pass away" rather than "die"


the act of explaining a text through careful analysis of its parts

figurative language

language not intended to be interpreted in a literal sense; it consists figures of speech


an obvious exaggeration or overstatement for special effect - ex: "shot heard round the world"


the use of words or phrases that appeal to one or more of the senses


a change in the normal order of words in a sentence - ex: "yet certain am I of the spot."


a contrast between what is expected or intended and what actually happens. three types: verbal irony, irony of situation, and dramatic irony

verbal irony

the write or speaker says one thing and means the opposite

irony of situation

when the opposite of what is expected occurs or when one does not get what he deserves

dramatic irony

when the audience or reader knows more than the characters


a kind of understatement where the speaker or writer uses a negaitve of a word ironically to mean the opposite. ex: "she's not the friendliest person I know."


an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast; emphasizing contrasts


a figure of speech that is a direct comparison of two unlike things

extended metaphor

comparison used throughout a poem


a lesson or theme


the atmosphere or predominant emotion in a literary work. this and tone can be different or identical


a figure of speech in which a person, place, or thing is referred to by something closely associated with it. - ex: "crown" for king or queen


the use of words that mimic the sounds they describe. buzzz


a figure of speech that combines opposite or contradictory ideas or terms - ex: "sweet sorrow"


a seemingly contradictory statement which is true


a figure of speech in which inanimate objects are given human qualities


the "mask" of a work's narrator or speaker


the use of spoken or written language to exert a perticular effect on an audience

rhetorical question

a question that is asked for effect and for which no answer is actually expected


the use of verbal irony in which a person appears to be praising something


a form of writing that holds up to ridicule or contempt the weakness or wrongs of humans, usually with the intention of reform


a figure of speech that compares two unlike things using like or as


the framework or organization of a literary selection


the way an author writes, determined by his or her choice of words; the arrangement of words in sentence, the relationship of sentences to one another, and the use of figurative language and rhythm.


a figure in which a concrete object is used to stand for an abstract idea


the arrangement of words and the order of grammatical elements in a sentence


the underlying idea or insight about life that an author wishes to convey in a literary work.


the author's attitude toward his subject; it can be conveyed through the author's choice of words and detail; basically how the author feels about the subject


the opposite of hyperbole; a kind of irony that deliberately represents something as being much less than it really is.


attempts to gain audience's agreement with an assertion or claim by engaging their powers of reason


attempts to gain audience's agreement by engaging their beliefs or feelings


the use of spoken or writen language to exert a particular effect on an audience

claim (thesis)

the idea (opinion) that is put forth or defended in an argument


support for a claim that may include facts, statistics, examples, expert opinion, documented experience

types of appeals

logos, pathos, ethos


rational appeal - offering an argument that appeals to a reader's intelligence; uses verifiable evidence


emotional appeal - relate to audience's sympathies and beliefs; connects audience to your argument


ethical appeal - convince your audience that you are a credible and moral source by collecting sufficient evidence, reasoning carefully, and presenting an appropriate tone

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