49 terms

Required Literary Terms and Types

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Style
Author's word choice, sentence structure, figurative language to establish meaning in the text.
Attitude
This term can be referred as perspective or tone of the writer like serious or humorous.
Mood
Evokes feelings in readers through words and descriptions; it creates an emotional situation.
Plot
The logical sequence of events that develop a story.
Exposition
Introduce information about events, settings, characters etc. to the audience or readers.
Rising Action
Incidents of suspense and interest: decisions, characters' flaws, background that create twists
Climax
Most intense point in the development of a decisive moment, a major turning point.
Falling Action
Wraps up the narrative, and leads toward the closure.
Resolution
The problem of the story is resolved or worked out to tie up the loose ends.
Setting
Time and place in which a story takes place.
Characterization
Creation of a fictional character using physical appearance, dialogue, behaviors, and choices.
Protagonist
The leading character, hero or heroine
Antagonist
A person who actively opposes or is hostile to the main character; an adversary.
Conflict
An issue in a narrative around which the whole story revolves.
Point of View
The perspective from which a work is written
First Person
"I"-The narrator is a character in the story, and they refer to him or herself.
Second Person
"You"-The narrator directly addresses the reader in the written work.
Third Person
"(S)he"-The narrator is looking in on the person or people being talked about.
Theme
The central message or idea in a story stated in a complete sentence.
Dialogue
Where characters of a narrative talk to one another.
Foreshadowing
Hints of what's to come.
Symbolism
An object that represents an abstract idea.
Irony
An incongruity between expectations for a situation and what actually happens.
Genre
The type of story or writing
Allegory
story or poem in which characters, settings, and events stand for abstract ideas or qualities.
Naturalism
19th c. literary movement that claimed to portray life exactly as it is with, detachment and objectivity.
Tragedy
Ends in catastrophe, usually death, for the main characters (and others).
Tragic Flaw
A weakness or error in judgment in the main character.
Inference
An educated guess based on facts presented in the text and life experience.
Internal Conflict
A character struggles with conscience
External Conflict
A character struggles with a force of nature, another character, or a whole society
Archetype
An old imaginative pattern that appears across cultures and is repeated through ages
Stream of Consciousness
Conveys the inner--and sometimes chaotic--workings of a character's mind.
First Person Plural
"We"-The narrator is a group of people like a small town.
Suspense
The intense feeling that an audience goes through while waiting for the outcome of certain events.
Urban Legends
Anecdotes that travel by word of mouth which seem believable
Aphorisms
Brief, wise sayings
Magic Realism
Literary style that combines incredible events with realistic details and relates them all in a matter-of-fact tone.
Verbal Irony
Occurs when someone says one thing but means something else.
Situational Irony
Takes place when what is expected is different from what happens.
Dramatic Irony
Occurs when the readers know more than a character does.
Satire
The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
Limited-Third-Person Point of View
The narrator is outside of the story from the vantage point of only one character.
Unresolved Ending
The overarching plot is left unfinished and the ultimate outcome of the characters' story arcs is unknown in order to allow readers to infer.
Flashback
A scene in a narrative that interrupts the present action to tell what happened at an earlier time.
Paradox
An apparent contradiction that is actually true.
Myth
A traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.
Allusion
A brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance.
Southern Gothic Literature
Set in the south, reveals the darkness of society through irony, characters seen as outsiders, and fear of institutions.