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limited narrator

A form of narration in which the narrator cannot tell the story from multiple point of views

limited omniscient narrator

A form of narration that combines limited and omniscient narration

omniscient narrator

A type of narrator that can move from character to character or place to place freely with access to all of the characters' feelings.


A key idea expressed in a work, either directly or indirectly


The technique of arranging events that later events are implied in previous events, giving a thematic and structural unity


The native dialect of a particular region. (Wuthering heights)


the flaw or error of a hero that leads to his or her downfall


something that stands for something else due to a relationship in the novel


the atmosphere of a work


a character whose personality and attitude contrast sharply with those of another

natural imagery

Imagery drawn from the created world and its non-human inhabitants that are related to the plot or the character's feelings (Macbeth)


the primary thought taken by a writer or speaker, usually in an essay

moral ambiguity

there is no such thing as absolute right or wrong. Each person chooses what they want to do. (Macbeth)

reliable narrator

A narrator that is trustworthy. This type of narrator can tell the truth in the story.

unreliable narrator

A type of narrator that may distort or exaggerate events in the story

pathetic fallacy

The poetic practice in a story in which nature or other objects imitate the emotions of the human character

situational irony

The awareness of the difference between appearance and reality.

dramatic irony

This type of irony occurs when the audience knows more than the character [in the play] and knows the consequences of a situation

verbal irony

the awareness of an unexpected difference between words and their meaning


the reader/viewer/listener of a work of art


the reason for which something is done or for which something exists.


an opinion or attitude of an author or a means by which it is expressed


the reflection of a writers attitude manner mood and moral outlook in his work


The emotional atmosphere of a work


the word choices made by a writer


the choices a writer makes; the combination of distinctive features of a literary work

first person narrator

A point of view in which a narrator, referred to as "I," who is a character in the story and relates the actions through his or her own perspective, also revealing his or her own thoughts

3rd person narrator

one who tells a story from the third person point of view. The author chooses a character and relates the story in terms of that character.


influenced by personal opinion, biased


belonging to immediate experience of actual things or events


a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in a literary or artistic work expressed directly or indirectly


The introductory material which gives the setting, creates the tone, presents the characters, and presents other facts necessary to understanding the story.


those events which form the outcome of the play


A subsidiary or subordinate or parallel plot in a play or story that coexists with the main plot


the implicit or metaphorical meaning


a transition (in literary or theatrical works or films) to an earlier event or scene that interrupts the normal chronological development of the story


the juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas to give a feeling of balance


punishment that overtakes a tragic hero

local color

writing which presents the mannerisms, dress, speech and customs of a particular geographical region


the everyday speech of the people (as distinguished from literary language)


the usage or vocabulary that is characteristic of a specific group of people

flat character

a character who embodies a single quality and who does not develop in the course of a story

round character

a character who demonstrates some complexity and who develops or changes in the course of a work


(Jungian psychology) a personal facade that one presents to the world


anything that serves by contrast to call attention to another thing's good qualities


a man distinguished by exceptional courage and nobility and strength


an original model on which something is patterned


verse or prose composition intended to potray life or character or to tell a story usually involving conflicts and emotions through action and dialogue


drama in which the protagonist is overcome by some superior force or circumstance


light and humorous drama with a happy ending

short story

a prose narrative shorter than a novel


A kind of rhythmic, compressed language that uses figures of speech and imagery designed to appeal to our emotions and imaginations

frame story

A narrative structure containing or connecting a series of otherwise unrelated tales.


a philosophy based on the idea that people give meaning to their lives through their choices and actions


(philosophy) the doctrine that the world can be understood in scientific terms without recourse to spiritual or supernatural explanations


the attribute of accepting the facts of life and favoring practicality and literal truth


18th - 19th century style of fiction medieval settings murky horror and gloom, mysterious and violent incidents


The deliberate departure from tradition and the use of innovative forms of expression that distinguish many styles in the arts and literature of the 20th century.

Lost Generation

Group of writers in 1920s who shared the belief that they were lost in a greedy, materialistic world that lacked moral values and often choose to flee to Europe


the delusion that things (or everything, including the self) do not exist


emphasizes the life of the mind and feelings rather than the realistic external details of everyday life


the belief that all events are determined in advance by fate and cannot be changed by human means


The philosophical theory that every human act or decision is the inevitable result of specific influences (physical, psychological, environmental) that are independent of human will

situational irony

occurs when the outcome of a work is unexpected, or events turn out to be the opposite from what one had expected

dramatic irony

(theater) irony that occurs when the meaning of the situation is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play

verbal irony

The contrast between what is said and what is actually meant.

tragic flaw

the character flaw or error of a tragic hero that leads to his downfall


overbearing pride or presumption


a company of actors who comment (by speaking or singing in unison) on the action in a classical Greek play


a (usually long) dramatic speech intended to give the illusion of unspoken reflections


a long utterance by one person (especially one that prevents others from participating in the conversation)


any combination of disparate elements that form a unified, single image

stream of consciousness

a style of writing in which the author tries to reproduce the random flow of thoughts in the human mind

interior monologue

presents the private sensations, thoughts, and emotions of a character


a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in a literary or artistic work


an expressive style that uses fictional characters and events to describe some subject by suggestive resemblances

pathetic fallacy

The attribution of human emotions or characteristics to inanimate objects or to nature; for example angry clouds; a cruel wind.`


a quality that arouses emotions (especially pity or sorrow)


an expression whose meaning cannot be determined from its context


(psychoanalysis) purging of emotional tensions

poetic justice

the operation of justice in a play with fair distribution of rewards for good deeds and punishment for wrongdoing


a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance


capable of being perceived by the senses


Words used in a symbolic way


the most direct or specific meaning of a word or expression


an idea that is implied or suggested not direct meaning


passing reference or indirect mention

rhetorical question

a question that is emphasizes the obvious answer to what is asked


The use of language to evoke a picture or a concrete sensation of a person, thing, place, or experience


a figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with 'like' or 'as')


a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity

extended simile

running many lines comparisons elaborate in detail


an expression in which two words that contradict each other are joined


any word or phrase applied to a person or thing to describe an actual or attributed quality

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