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AP Literary Terms
uncertainty or inexactness of meaning in language.
a thing belonging or appropriate to a period other than that in which it exists, esp. a thing that is conspicuously old-fashioned/modern.
a very typical example of a certain person or thing.
Specific, literal word usage
an idea or feeling that a word invokes
the literal or primary meaning of a word
an individual feature, fact, or item
intended to teach, particularly in having moral instruction as an ulterior motive
a quotation at the beginning of a poem, short story, book chapter, or other piece of literature
the act of making clear or removing obscurity from the meaning of a word or symbol or expression; a detailed explanation of the meaning of something
be a warning or indication of (a future event)
a representation of the external form of a person or thing
a temporary state of mind or feeling conceived by the speaker
a unifying idea that is a recurrent element
a short moral story
the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language.
the subject of a talk, a unifying idea
the quality of something that reveals the attitudes and presuppositions of the author
a story that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one
an indirect or passing reference
a speaker or writer breaks off and directs speech to an imaginary person or abstract quality or idea
the substitution of a mild, indirect expression for one thought to be offensive
words that exaggerate the usual meanings of the component words
a deliberate, extravagant and often outrageous exaggeration used for either serious or comic effect
the reader/audience knows the future but the actors/characters do not
what is stated is the opposite of what is meant
outcome is opposite to what was expected
ironical understatement as a double negative
the procedure by which apparently significant gestures, assertions, or decisions are made only to immediately collapse
direct comparison between 2 like things
Ex: Juliet is the sun.
reader builds metaphor from what is implied
Ex: Juliet shines.
extended metaphor that uses shocking or unrelated comparison
something is called not by its own name but rather by the name of something else associated in meaning with it; nickname(sorta)
contradiction of two words
describing an inanimate object with human-like qualities
humorous or rhetorical use of a word or phrase to suggest different meanings or homophonic qualities
compare 2 unlike things with like or as
object or idea that represents something
one sense leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sense
a part refers to the whole
Ex: all hands on deck
the presentation of something as being smaller, worse, or less important than it actually is
high point of story; most exciting part
against outside forces
outcome/conclusion/ending (conflict is resolved)
introduces the situation, characters, setting, conflict
excitement starts falling; action slows
an experience of sudden and striking realization
where the action begins; the part that grabs the reader's attention
the reasons behind a character's behavior
defined as a work of fiction that focuses on the sociological and economical conditions of characters or events
a novel set in the past and intended to evoke the conditions of a past period.
type of novel that concentrates on the people in a specific location
novel of ideas
a novel written as a series of documents
a genre or mode of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance
a novel about the moral and psychological growth of the main character
sequence of events in a story; "what happens"
action is building, excitement and suspense grow
the time, place, and circumstances in which the action takes place.
the way a writer uses the language in a work
The sense that all the elements in a piece of writing fit together to create a harmonious effect
a novel that is extravagantly chivalrous or romantic
the narrator or a character in the story tells us what we need to know about a character
we find out about characters indirectly through thoughts, comments, or actions of the characters
does not undergo substantial change or growth in the course of a story
a character who contrasts with another character (usually the protagonist) in order to highlight particular qualities of the other character
tragic and fatal flaw
extreme self pride/arrogance
first person point of view
point of view
second person point of view
third person point of view
third person limited
third person omniscient
third person objective
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