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english 220 lit

Harlem Renaissance

a period in the 1920s when African-American achievements in art and music and literature flourished

Point of view

the perspective from which a story is told


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. comparison not using like or as


the most direct or specific meaning of a word or expression. Dictionary meaning


a fixed number of lines of verse forming a unit of a poem


A character or force in conflict with the main character

Talented Tenth

According to W. E. B. DuBois, the ten percent of the black population that had the talent to bring respect and equality to all blacks

Omniscient narrator

a narrator who is able to know, see, and tell all, including the inner thoughts and feelings of the characters


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

True Womanhood

An ideal that defines what it means to be a woman according to one's capacity for piety, purity, and domesticity. It is a gender convention most strongly associated with white, middle-class women. Historians date its origins at least as far back as the 19th century but it continues to be relevant to current notions of femininity.


state of being "in-between"

Flat character

this character seems to possess only one or two personality traits - little or no background is revealed


main character


the ability of a person to be regarded as a member of social groups other than his or her own, such as a different race, ethnicity, social class, gender, and/or disability status, generally with the purpose of gaining social acceptance

Round character

this character is fully developed - the writer reveals good and bad traits as well as background

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