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21 terms

Things Fall Apart Literary Terms

STUDY
PLAY
epigram
a short statement or poem with a witty turn of thought or a wittily condensed expression
fable
a short tale that illustrates a message or a moral
folklore
the traditions, beliefs, and customs of a people
foreshadowing
the use of hints or clues in a story to suggest what action is to come
irony
a perception of inconsistency, sometimes humorous, in which the significance and understanding of a statement or event is changed by its context
dramatic irony
the audience or reader knows more about a character's situation than the character does and knows that the character's understanding is incorrect
structural irony
the use of a naïve hero, whose incorrect perceptions differ from the reader's correct ones
verbal irony
a discrepancy between what is said and what is really meant; sarcasm
legend
a story that is only partly true (or completely false) about a real or fictional character. Legends usually include exaggerations and unusual events or circumstances
metaphor
a comparison of two things that are basically dissimilar in which one is described in terms of the other
myth
a story with supernatural occurrences, which helped early cultures understand themselves
oral tradition
the transference of stories, songs, etc., from one generation to another or from one culture to another
personification
a figure of speech in which an object, abstract idea, or animal is given human characteristics
protagonist
the central or main character in a story around whom the plot centers
proverb
a short saying that states a basic truth about life
simile
a comparison between two different things using either "like" or "as"
symbol
an object, person, or place that has a meaning in itself and that also stands for something larger than itself, usually an idea or concept; some concrete thing which represents an abstraction
theme
the central or dominant idea behind the story; the most important aspect that emerges from how the book treats its subject
tragedy
a serious work, usually a play, in which the main character experiences defeat, brought about by a tragic flaw
tragic flaw
the main defect of the protagonist in a tragedy
tragic hero
the main character in a tragedy; in order to fit the definition, the hero must have a tragic flaw, which causes his or her downfall