54 terms

AP Lit Literary terms quiz

AP Literature Terms
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Allegory
An extended narrative that carries a second meaning along with the surface story. The second meaning usually involves incarnations of abstract ideas.
Allusion
A reference in literature to previous literature, history, mythology, pop culture, or the Bible.
Analogy
A comparison, usually extended, of two different things.
Antithesis
A rhetorical figure in which sharply opposing are expressed within a balanced grammatical structure.
Apostrophe
A figure of speech in which a person not present or a personified abstraction is directly addressed as though present.
Chiasmus
A literary scheme involving a specific inversion of word order. It involves taking parallelism and deliberately turning it inside out, creating a "crisscross" pattern.
Cliché
An expression that deviates enough from ordinary usage to call attention to itself and has been used so often that it is felt to be hackneyed or cloying.
Connotation
an idea that is implied or suggested
Denouement
The tying up of loose ends after the climax in a story, novel, or play.
Diction
A writer's choice of language to achieve a desired tone or effect, be it formal, informal, colloquial, elevated etc.
Epiphany
A sudden flash of insight; a startling discovery; a dramatic realization.
Figurative Language
Unlike literal expression, uses of figures of speech (metaphor, simile, metonymy, personification, and hyperbole) in order to appeal to one's senses. Commonly used in poetry.
Flashback
A scene inserted into a novel, play, or story showing events which happened at an earlier time.
Foil
A character whose contrasting personal characteristics draw attention to, enhance, or contrast with those of the main character. A character who, by displaying opposite traits, emphasizes certain aspects of another character.
Foreshadowing
Hints at what is to come. It is sometimes noticeable only in hindsight, but usually is obvious enough to set the reader wondering.
Genre
The category (each with its own conventions) in which a piece of writing can be classified -- poetry, prose, drama, science fiction, utopian etc.
Hyperbole
Extreme exaggeration used to create a comic effect, strong emotion or irony; not meant to be taken literally.
Interior monologue
In literature, used to describe all means/methods of self-revelation.
Malapropism
A blunder in speech caused by the substitution of a word for another that is similar in sound but different in meaning.
Metaphor
A figure of speech which compares two dissimilar things, asserting that one thing is not just "like" another, but that one thing "is" another.
Meter
A recognizable through varying pattern of stressed syllables alternating with syllables of less stress.
Mood
Atmosphere established by the totality of the literary work.
Motif
A theme, character, or verbal pattern which recurs in literature, folklore, or within a single work.
Oxymoron
A figure of speech that combines two contradictory words, placed side by side.
Paradox
A statement or situation that at first seems impossible or oxymoronic, but which solves itself and reveals meaning.
Parallelism
The repeated use of the same grammatical structure in a sentence or series of sentences.
Parody
A work which ridicules a serious literary work or the characteristic style of an author by treating the subject matter flippantly or by applying the style to an inappropriate, usually trivial, subject.
Pastoral
Literary form (generally poetic) idealizing country life.
Pathos
The quality of a work or passage that appeals to the reader's or viewer's emotions -- especially pity.
Personification
The attribution of human characteristics to an animal or inanimate object.
Point of View
Perspective of the speaker or narrator in a literary work.
Realism
American literary movement that emerges around the Civil War which attempts to depict life as most people live it, without idealization.
Rhetorical Question
A question with an obvious answer, so no response is expected; used for emphasis or to make a point.
Satire
The use of humor to ridicule and expose the shortcomings and failings of society, individuals, and institutions, often in the hope that change and reform will occur.
Simile
A form of comparison using "like" or "as" that says one thing is similar to another.
Style
The way a writer uses language. Takes into account word choice, diction, figures of speech, and so on; the writer's "voice."
Symbol
A concrete object, scene, or action which has deeper significance because it is associated with something else, often an important idea or theme in the work.
Synesthesia
The intermingling of sensations. "Blue cold" "deafening hunger"
Synecdoche
Greek for " taking together", this is a metaphor of substitution like metonymy; however, rather than substituting something associated with the subject, a part of the subject is substituted for the whole, or the whole for the part.
Syntax
The way in which words, phrases, and sentences are ordered and connected.
dialogue
a literary composition in the form of a conversation between two people
empathy
the ability to identify with someone else and understand that person's situation of feelings
imagery
the ability to form mental images of things or events
irony
incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs
narrator
someone who tells a story
parallel scene
Two or more scenes dealing with different individuals that happen at the approximate same time
parallel structure
the repetition of words or phrases that have similar grammatical structures
persona
the speaker, voice, or character assumed by the author of a piece of writing
point of view
the perspective from which a story is told
repetition
repeated use of sounds, words, or ideas for effect and emphasis
rhyme
correspondence in the sounds of two or more lines (especially final sounds)
romance
a novel dealing with idealized events remote from everyday life
sarcasm
bitter, caustic language that is meant to hurt or ridicule someone or something. It may use verbal irony as a device.
understatement
the opposite of exaggeration. It is a technique for developing irony and/or humor where one writes or says less than intended.
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