"AP Lit. Critical 50"

a reference to something literary, mythological, or historical that the author assumes the reader will recognize
the intended reader of a piece
Author's Purpose
The reason the author wrote a literary work, or shared information, events, motivations, etc. inside a literary work.
people or animals who take part in the action of a literary work
Character - Protagonist
is the central character of a drama, novel, short story, or narrative poem
Character - Antagonist
the character that the main character (protagonist) struggles against
Character - Round
The literary character's traits express the emotions and concerns of real people. The audience can usually identify with the feelings of this character.
Character - Flat
A character who has one dominant trait that is more noticeable than anything or anyone else and usually have only one job to perform in the text of a story. a character who embodies a single quality and who does not develop in the course of a story
Character - Dynamic
Change in response to actions through which he/she passes
Character - Static
Change little or none over the course of a literary work despite being given opportunities to do so
the problem or problems characters face in a literary work
Conflict - Internal
An internal conflict is a struggle that takes place within a character's mind or heart. In an internal conflict, a character might struggle with paralyzing fear or a need for revenge
Conflict - External
a struggle between two forces. An external conflict can take place between two characters; between a character and a group; between a character and society as a whole; or between a character and an animal or a force of nature
Figurative Language
language that is used in writing to produce images in a reader's mind and to express ideas in fresh, vivid, and imaginative ways
Figurative Language - Simile
a comparison using the words "like" or "as"
Figurative Language - Metaphor
a comparison that does not use the words "like" or "as"
Figurative Language - Hyperbole
intentional exaggeration to create an effect
Figurative Language - Onomatopoeia
a word formed from the imitation of natural sounds
Figurative Language - Personification
endowing non-human objects or creatures with human qualities or characteristics
a conclusion one draws (infers) based on premises or evidence
the time, place, and environment in which action takes place
the events that take place in a story
Plot - Exposition
the opening of a story, when the characters and their conflicts are introduced
Plot - Rising Action
following the exposition; the events that build up to the climax
Plot - Climax
This is the turning point of the story and the point of highest interest. Plot turning point: the point in a work in which a very significant change occurs
Plot - Falling Action
following the climax; when the story begins to resolve conflicts and outstanding issues
Plot - Resolution
All the loose ends are tied up, and the story comes to a reasonable ending
Historical Context
the historical period that shapes a work of literature and allows the reader to understand important issues in a given time period
comparing similarities between two or more ideas, stories, characters, things, etc.
showing the differences between two or more ideas, stories, characters, things, etc.
the insertion or flashing to an earlier event into the normal chronological order of a narrative (story)
when a something is written to appeal to the five senses.
Imagery - TASTE
when description helps the reader understand how something tastes.
Imagery - TOUCH
when description helps the reader understand how something feels to the touch.
Imagery - SIGHT
when description helps the reader understand how something looks when viewed.
Imagery - SOUND
when description helps the reader understand how something would sound.
Imagery - SMELL
when description helps the reader understand how something would smell
Main Idea
What the passage is mostly about (like the topic)
the person telling the story. A narrator can be in 1st , 2nd, or 3rd Person
Point of View
the vantage point from which a story is told
Point of View - FIRST PERSON
a story told by an "I" narrator. An "I" narrator is a character in the story
Point of View - SECOND PERSON
a story directed to the reader using "you"; used most commonly when giving directions
Point of View - THIRD PERSON
a story told by a non-participating narrator, either omniscient or limited
the emotional atmosphere of a work
how the author gets the point across
conversation between two or more people
the use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning; or, incongruity between what is expected and what actually happens
an object that is used to represent something else (usually a larger, philosophical and more important idea)
a central lesson of a work
the writer's or speaker's attitude toward the subject of a story, toward a character, or toward the audience (the readers).