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Literary Terms from AP pdf
Terms in this set (75)
story or poem in which characters, settings, and events stand for other people or events or for abstract ideas or qualities.
EXAMPLE: Animal Farm; Dante's Inferno; Lord of the Flies
repetition of the same or similar consonant sounds in words that are close together.
EXAMPLE: "When the two youths turned with the flag they saw that much of the regiment had crumbled away, and the dejected remnant was coming slowly back." -Stephen Crane (Note how regiment and remnant are being used; the regiment is gone, a remnant remains...)
reference to someone or something that is known from history, literature, religion, politics, sports, science, or another branch of culture. An indirect reference to something (usually from literature, etc.).
deliberately suggesting two or more different, and sometimes conflicting, meanings in a work. An event or situation that may be interpreted in more than one way- - this is done on purpose by the author, when it is not done on purpose, it is vagueness, and detracts from the work.
Comparison made between two things to show how they are alike
Brief story, told to illustrate a point or serve as an example of something, often shows character of an individual
Opponent who struggles against or blocks the hero, or protagonist, in a story.
attributing human characteristics to an animal or inanimate object (Personification)
the repetition of similar vowel sounds followed by different consonant sounds especially in words that are together.
the process by which the writer reveals the personality of a character.
the author reveals to the reader what the character is like by describing how the character looks and dresses, by letting the reader hear what the character says, by revealing the character's private thoughts and feelings, by revealing the characters effect on other people (showing how other characters feel or behave toward the character), or by showing the character in action. Common in modern literature
the author tells us directly what the character is like: sneaky, generous, mean to pets and so on. Romantic style literature relied more heavily on this form.
is one who does not change much in the course of a story.
is one who changes in some important way as a result of the story's action.
has only one or two personality traits. They are one dimensional, like a piece of cardboard. They can be summed up in one phrase.
has more dimensions to their personalities---they are complex, just a real people are.
is a word or phrase, often a figure of speech, that has become lifeless because of overuse. Avoid clichés like the plague. (That cliché is intended.)
in general, a story that ends with a happy resolution of the conflicts faced by the main character or characters.
a word or phrase in everyday use in conversation and informal writing but is inappropriate for formal situations.
Example: "He's out of his head if he thinks I'm gonna go for such a stupid idea.
an elaborate metaphor that compares two things that are startlingly different. Often an extended metaphor.
the struggle between opposing forces or characters in a story.
conflicts can exist between two people, between a
person and nature or a machine or between a person a whole society.
a conflict can be internal, involving opposing forces within a person's mind.
the associations and emotional overtones that have become attached to a word or phrase, in addition to its strict dictionary definition.
a way of speaking that is characteristic of a certain social group or of the
inhabitants of a certain geographical area.
a speaker or writer's choice of words.
a short piece of nonfiction prose in which the writer discusses some aspect of a subject.
type of essay: ARGUMENTATION
one of the four forms of discourse which uses logic, ethics, and emotional appeals (logos, ethos, pathos) to develop an effective means to convince the reader to think or act in a certain way.
relies more on emotional appeals than on facts
form of persuasion that appeals to reason instead of
emotion to convince an audience to think or act in a certain way.
the form of discourse that tells about a series of events.
a very short story told in prose or poetry that teaches a practical lesson about how to succeed in life.
Words which are inaccurate if interpreted literally, but are used to describe. Similes and metaphors are common forms.
a scene that interrupts the normal chronological sequence of events in a story to depict something that happened at an earlier time.
A character who acts as contrast to another character. Often a funny side kick to the dashing hero, or a villain contrasting the hero.
the use of hints and clues to suggest what will happen later in a plot.
a figure of speech that uses an incredible exaggeration or overstatement,
for effect. "If I told you once, I've told you a million times...."
the use of language to evoke a picture or a concrete sensation of a person , a thing, a place, or an experience.
a discrepancy between appearances and reality.
occurs when someone says one thing but really means something else.
takes place when there is a discrepancy between what is expected to happen, or what would be appropriate to happen, and what really does happen.
is so called because it is often used on stage. A character in the play or story thinks one thing is true, but the audience or reader knows better.
a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlike things without the use of such specific words of comparison as like, as, than, or resembles.
An atmosphere created by a writer's diction and the details selected.
a recurring image, word, phrase, action, idea, object, or situation used throughout a work (or in several works by one author), unifying the work by tying the current situation to previous ones, or new ideas to the theme. Kurt Vonnegut uses "So it goes" throughout Slaughterhouse-Five to remind the reader of the senselessness of death.
the use of words whose sounds echo their sense. "Pop." "Zap."
a figure of speech that combines opposite or contradictory terms in a brief phrase. "Jumbo shrimp." "Pretty ugly." "Bitter-sweet"
a relatively short story that teaches a moral, or lesson about how to lead a good life.
a statement that appears self-contradictory, but that reveals a kind of truth.
(parallelism) the repetition of words or phrases that have similar grammatical structures.
a work that makes fun of another work by imitating some aspect of the writer's style.
a figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human feelings, thoughts, or attitudes.
the series of related events in a story or play, sometimes called the storyline.
that point in a plot that creates the greatest intensity, suspense, or interest. Also called "turning point"
POINT OF VIEW
the vantage point from which the writer tells the story.
FIRST PERSON POINT OF VIEW
one of the characters tells the story.
THIRD PERSON POINT OF VIEW
an unknown narrator, tells the story, but this narrator zooms in to focus on the thoughts and feelings of only one character.
OMNISCIENT POINT OF VIEW
an omniscient or all knowing narrator tells the story, also using the third person pronouns. This narrator, instead of focusing on one character only, often tells us everything about many characters.
OBJECTIVE POINT OF VIEW
a narrator who is totally impersonal and objective tells the story, with no comment on any characters or events.
the central character in a story, the one who initiates or drives the action. Usually the hero or anti-hero; in a tragic hero, like John Proctor of The Crucible, there is always a hamartia, or tragic flaw in his character which will lead to his downfall.
a "play on words" based on the multiple meanings of a single word or on words that sound alike but mean different things.
Art of effective communication, especially persuasive discourse.
a question asked for an effect, and not actually requiring
a type of writing that ridicules the shortcomings of people or institutions in an attempt to bring about a change.
a figure of speech that makes an explicitly comparison between two unlike things, using words such as like, as , than, or resembles.
a long speech made by a character in a play while no other characters are on stage.
a fixed idea or conception of a character or an idea which does not allow for any individuality, often based on religious, social, or racial prejudices.
the distinctive way in which a writer uses language: a writer's distinctive use of diction, tone, and syntax.
a feeling of uncertainty and curiosity about what will happen next in a story.
a person, place, thing, or event that has meaning in itself and that also stands for something more than itself.
the insight about human life that is revealed in a literary work.
the attitude a writer takes toward the subject of a work, the characters in it, or the audience, revealed through diction, figurative language, and organization.
in general, a story in which a heroic character either dies or comes to some other unhappy end.
a statement that says less than what is meant.
Example: During the second war with Iraq, American troops complained of a fierce sand storm that made even the night-vision equipment useless. A British commando commented about the storm: "It's a bit breezy."
a literary movement that originated in late nineteenth century France, in which writers rearranged the world of appearances in order to reveal a more truthful version of reality.
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