50 terms

English lit terms

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Alliteration
the practice of beginning several consecutive or neighboring words with the same sound
Apostrophe
A form of personification in which the absent or dead are spoken to as if present and the inanimate, as if animate These are all addressed directly.
Characterization
The author's methods to convey the personality of a character.
Conflict
struggle between two forces in a literary work. It may be internal or external
Connotation
the emotions commonly associated with the word
Denotation
the literal meaning of the word or "dictionary definition"
Dialect
The language of a particular district, class, or group of people. It often helps to distinguish character
Dialogue
A conversation between two or more characters.
Diction
Word choice intended to convey a certain efect.
Epic
long story, often told in verse, involving heroes and gods
Euphemism
a n indirect word or phrase used in
place of a direct statement thatmight be considered harsh or offensive
(Passed away instead of died etc.)
Flashback
a scene that interrupts the action of a work to show a previous event.
Foil
a character whose traits contrast with and highlight the traits of another characte
Foreshadowing
the use of hints or clues in a narrative to suggest future action.
Hyperbole
deliberate, extravagant, and often outrageous exaggeration.
Narration
The telling of a story in writing or speaking
Imagery
The words or phrases a writer uses to represe nt persons, objects, actions, feelings, and ideas descriptively by appealing to the senses.
Dramatic irony
When the audience (reader) knows something that the characters do not
situational irony
when a situation turns out differently from what one would normally expect- though often the twist is oddly appropriate
Verbal irony
when a speaker or narrator says one thing while meaning the opposite
Metaphor
a comparison of two unlike things not using "like" or "as."
Mood
the predominant atmosphere or emotion created in the reader by part of literary work.
Motivation
A circumstance or set of circumstances that prompts a character to act in a certain way or that determines the outcome of a situation or work.
Myth
a traditional story, rooted in a particular culture, that deals with gods, goddesses, and other supernatural beings as well as human heroes. They often embody religious values and explain natural phenomena
Onomatopoeia
the use of words to mimic sounds they describe
Oxymoron
word or group of words that contradict themselves.
Parallelism
rhetorical device in which the writer emphasizes the equal value or weight of two or more words by expressing them in the same grammatical form.
Personification
a kind of metaphor that gives inanimate objects or abstract ideas human characteristics.
Plot-the
The sequence of events or actions in a short story, novel, play, or narrative poem.
Allusion
The reference to a mythological, literary, or historical person, place, or thing
Bias
A personal judgement about something, or a mental leaning in one direction or another
Point- of-view-
the perspective from which narrative is told.
second person-
addresses the reader directly, pulling them into the directions or story (Uses "you")
third person omniscient-
the thoughts of all the characters are revealed (Uses "he, she, it to tell story"
Protagonist
The central character or a drama, novel short story, or narrative poem. Conversely, the antagonist is the character who stands directly applied to the protagonist
Pun
A play on words that are identical or similar in sound but have sharply diverse meanings. Puns can have serious as well as humorous uses
Repetition
The deliberate use of any element of language more than once-sound, word, phrase, sentence, grammatical pattern, or rhythmical pattern
Sarcasm
The use of verbal irony in which a person appears to be praising something but is actually insulting it.
Setting
the time and place in which events occur in a short story, novel, play, or narrative poem take place
Shift or turn
A change or movement in a piece resulting from an epiphany, realization, or insight gained by the speaker, a character
Simile
A comparison of two different things or ideas through the use of the words "like" or "as". It is a definitely stated comparison in which the poet says one thing is like another
Sound devices
techniques that convey meaning through sound
Style
writer's characteristic manner of employing language
Suspense
the quality of a short story, novel, play, or narrative poem that makes the reader or audience uncertain or tense about the outcome of events.
Symbol
Any object, person, place, or action that has both a meaning in itself and that stands for something larger than itself, such as a quality, attitude, belief or value.
Syntax
The arrangement of words and the order of grammatical elements in a sentence.
Theme
The central message of a literary work. It is not the same as a subject, which can be expressed in a word or two like courage, survival, war, pride, etc. The theme is the idea the writer wishes to convey ABOUT a subject such as, "Pride often precedes a fall."
Tone
The writer's or speaker's attitude toward a subject, character, or audience. It is conveyed through the author's choice of words and detail. Tone can be serious, humorous, sarcastic, indignant, and objective
Understatement
The opposite of hyperbole. It is a kind of irony that deliberately represents something as being much less than really is
third person limited
the narrator only knows the thoughts and feelings of one character