60 terms

General Lit. Terminology 1,2,&3

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Terms in this set (...)

Abstract terms
denotes qualities that are attitudes of persons/things; not observable or "physical"
Anachronism
does not fit chronologically; assignment of something to a time when it was not in existance.
Analogy
correspondence between dissimilar elements; similarity; comparison made between two things to show how they are alike.
Ambiguity
uncertainty; two meanings that are incompatible; deliberately suggesting two or more different, and sometimes conflicting, meanings in a work
Catharsis
The process by which an unhealthy emotional state produced by an imbalance of feelings is corrected and emotional health is restored; release of emotion
Direct Characterization
the author tells us what the character like: sneaky, generous, mean to pets and so on (as opposed to implying what the character is like).
Epigram
a short poem, whether amorous, elegiac, meditative, complimentary or satiric, which is polished, terse and pointed, often with a surprising turn of thought
Indirect Characterization
the author reveals to the reader what the character is like by describing how the character looks and dresses, by letting the reader hear what the character says, by revealing the character's private thoughts and feelings, by revealing the characters effect on other people.
Limited omniscient narrator (point of view)
third person narrator who generally reports only what one character (usually the main character) sees, and who only reports the thoughts of that one privileged character
Objective narrator (point of view)
third person narrator who only reports on what would be visible to a camera. This point of view does not know what a character is thinking or feeling unless the character says so.
Omniscient narrator (point of view)
third person narrator who sees, like God, into each character's mind and understands all the action going on
Parable
a tale designed to illustrate a moral principle; a relatively short story that teaches a moral, or lesson about how to lead a good life
Pastoral
expressing a nostalgic image of the peace and simplicity of the life of shepherds and other rural folk in an idealized natural setting.
Rhetoric
style of communication/diction; art of effective communication, especially persuasive discourse
Sarcasm
a type of verbal irony in which, under the guise of praise, a caustic and bitter expression of strong and personal disapproval is given
Sentiment
emotional response disproportionate to the situation, and thus to substitute heightened and generaly unthinking feeling for normal ethical and intellectual judgement; overindulgence of emotion
Stream of Consciousness
continuous flow of thoughts; a style of writing that portrays the inner (often chaotic) workings of a character's mind; technique of writing that undertakes to reproduce the raw flow of awareness, with the perceptions, thoughts, judgements, feelings, associations, and memories presented just as they occur without being tidied into grammatical sentences or given logical and narrative order. (example: Holden narrates in a stream of consciousness style in "The Catcher in the Rye").
Travesty
ridiculously inferior imitation; mocks a particular work but does it by treating a lofty subject in an undignified manner.
Unreliable narrator
first person narrator who is not entirely credible (a child, liar, lunatic, etc.). For example, Holden from "The Catcher in the Rye." often lies and exaggerates to himself and hence to the reading audience.
Wit
a verbal expression which is brief and intentionally contrived to produce a shock; a quickness of intellect
Allegory
a narrative in which characters, settings, and events stand for other people or events or for abstract ideas or qualities.
Anecdote
brief story, told to illustrate a point or serve as an example of something, often shows character of an individual
Angst
term used in existential criticism to describe both the individual and the collective neurosis of the period following the Second World War. This feeling of anxiety, dread, or anguish is notably present in the novel "The Catcher in the Rye".
Aphorism
a short and usually witty saying, such as: "Classic? A book which people praise and don't read." (Mark Twain)
Bard
a narrator, a poet, a storyteller; Shakespeare is considered the classic example
Bathos
an anticlimax, a passionate moment that becomes trivial; when writers overshoot the mark and become trivial or ridiculous
Bombast
verbose and inflated language that is disproportionate to the matter it expresses; pretentious, pompous speech or writing
Burlesque
mockery, exaggerated imitation, a form of satire; the high version is often called parody or mock epic and the low version is often called a travesty
Caricature
in both art and literature, a ridiculous or grotesque likeness of a person or thing
Concrete Terms
language that describes specific, observable things, people or places, rather than ideas of qualities
Ennui
A persistent feeling of tiredness or weariness that often afflicts existential man, often manifesting as boredom. (Holden in Catcher often expresses his exhaustion as a result of trying to figure out who he is in the confines of a society that annoys him
Fable
a very short story told in prose or poetry that teaches a practical lesson about how to succeed in life; moral tale on human behavior sometimes illustrated through animals
Fantasy
fictional characterized by highly fanciful or supernatural elements; unrestrained fancy
Interior Monologue
a term from novels and poetry, refers to writing that records the mental talking that goes on inside a character's head
Lampoon
a satire
Motif
recurrent thematic element in an artistic or literary work
Paradox
a statement that appears self-contradictory, but that reveals a kind of truth
Parody
an exaggerated imitation of a usually more serious work for humorous purposes; the writer uses the quirks of style of the imitated piece in extreme or ridiculous ways
Pathos
a quality that arouses feelings of pity, sympathy, or sorrow; over-emotionalism can be the result of an excess of this
Truism
A way too obvious truth
Antihero
Central character who lacks all the qualities traditionally associated with heroes; may lack courage, grace, intelligence, or moral scruples
Archaism
The use of deliberately old-fashioned language. Authors sometimes use archaisms to create a feeling of antiquity. Tourist traps use archaisms (as in "Ye Olde Candle Shoppe.")
Archetype
these "images" of character, plot pattern, symbols recur in literature and evoke profound emotional responses in the reader because they resonate with an image already existing in our unconscious mind, e.g. death, rebirth
Authorial Intrusion
When the author addresses you, the reader, directly. It is often interfering and can be nonsensical.
Cliche
A word or phrase, often a figure of speech that has become lifeless because of overuse
Coinage (neologism)
a new word, usually one invented on the spot. People's names are often used in this way. for example: "Oh man, you just pulled a major Wilson."
Colloquialism
Word or phrase in everyday use in conversation and informal writing but is inappropriate for formal situations. Example: "He's out of his head if he thinks I am gonna go for such a stupid idea."
Decorum
When a character's speech is styled to reflect the upper class and high society's rules for social etiquette. For example in "The Great Gatsby," Tom Buchanan spoke with decorum, while Myrtle and George Wilson did not because they were from a different class
Dramatic Irony
A character in the play or story thinks one thing is true, but the audience or reader knows better.
Dynamic Character
A character who changes in some important way as a result of the story's action.
Euphemism
The use of a word or phrase that is less direct, but is also considered less distasteful or less offensive than another. Example: "He is at rest" instead of "He is dead."
Flashback
A scene that interrupts the normal chronological sequence of events in a story to depict something that happened at an earlier time
Flat Character
Character that have only one or two personality traits. They are one dimensional, like a piece of cardboard. They can be summed up in one phrase
Foreshadow
Use of hints and clues to suggest what will happen later in a plot
Persona
A writer often adopts a fictional voice to tell a story. The role that one assumes or displays in public or society
Round Character
Characters who have more dimensions to their personalities---they are complex, just as real people are
Situational Irony
Takes place when there is a discrepancy between what is expected to happen, or what would be appropriate to happen, and what really does happen
Static Character
A character that does not change much in the course of a story
Verbal Irony
Occurs when someone says one thing but really means something else
Vernacular
Language spoken by the people who live in a particular locality