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Literature Folklore Test Study Guide

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Folklore
The traditions, customs and stories that are passed down within a culture. Includes various types of literature: - legends; - folk tales; - myths, - fables.
Folk Tale
A story that has been passed from generation to generation by word of mouth. Folk tales may be st in the distant past and involve supernatural events, and the characters in them may be animals, people or superhuman beings. The main purpose is to teach a moral or give a lesson.
Legend
A story handed down from the past about a specific person, usually someone of heroic accomplishments. Legends usually have some basics in historical fact.
Tall Tale
A humorously exaggerated story about impossible events, often relating to the supernatural abilities of the main character.
Fable
A brief story that teaches a lesson about human nature. In many fables, animals act and speak, like human beings. Usually a fable concludes with a moral.
Myth
A traditional story, usually of unknown authorship, that deals with the basic questions about the universe. Gods and heroes often figure prominently, in myths, which may attempt to explain such things as the origin of the world, mysteries of nature or social customs.
Setting
The time and place of the action in a story, poem or play.

May include:
- geographic location
- historical period (past, present or future)
- season of the year
- time of day
Character
A person, an animal, or an imaginary creature that takes part in the action of a literary work.
Static character
A character that changes very little.
Dynamic character
A character that changes significantly.
Protagonist
The central character in a story, play or novel.
Antagonist
A force working against the protagonist.

An (blank) can be:
- another character
- society
- a force within the main character
Point of view
Perspective from which a story is total.
First person
The narrator is a character in the story and uses first person pronouns, such as I, me , we, and us.
Third person omniscient
The narrator is nto a character. He or she uses third person pronouns, such as he, she, it, they and them.

This view allows the narrator to relate to the thoughts and feelings of several, if not all, the story's characters.
Third person limited
The narrator tells us what one character thinks, feels and observes.
Conflict
A struggle between opposing forces.
Internal conflict
A struggle within a character.
External conflict
A character struggles against another character or against some outside force.
Plot
The sequence of related events that make up a story.
Exposition
Introduces the characters and establishes the main conflict (the one "big problem" the main character is trying to solve).
Complications
Situations or problems that arise as the characters try to resolve the conflict.
Climax
The point of the greatest interest or suspense. Generally right before we figure out if the main conflict will be resolved.
Resolution
Loose ends are tied pu and the story is brought to a close. Main conflict is solved.
Figurative language
Words or phrases used to create fresh original descriptions.
Simile
A comparison of two things that have some quality in common. The comparison is conveyed by means of the words like or as.
Metaphor
A metaphor is a comparison of two things that have some quality in common. A metaphor syas that one thing is another.
Extended metaphor
Two things are compared at some length and in several ways.
Personification
The giving of human qualities to an animal, object or idea.
Hyperbole
An author's use of exaggeration or overstatement for emphasis.
Imagery
Consists of words and phrases that appeal to the reader's 5 senses. Writers use sensory details to help readers imagine how things look, feel, smell, sound and taste.
Mood
A feeling that a literary work conveys to readers.
Symbol
A person, place, object or action that stands for something beyond itself.
Moral
A lesson that a story teaches.
Theme
A message about life or human nature that is conveyed by a literary work. A work may have more than one theme, and in many cases, readers must infer the writer's message.
Motif
A situation, incident, idea, image or character type that is found in many different literary works, folktales or myths.