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a reference to a well known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art


a character or force in conflict with a main character or protagonist


a person or an animal that takes part in the action of a literary work


a struggle between opposing forces

internal conflict

involves a character in conflict with himself or herself

external conflict

the main character struggles against an outside force


a character's sudden flash of insight into a conflict or situation


a category or type of literature


the general term for literary techniques that portray differences between appearance and reality or expectation and result

verbal irony

words are used to suggest the opposite of what is meant

dramatic irony

there is a contradiction between what a character thinks and what the reader or audience knows to be true

situational irony

an event occurs that directly contradicts the expectations of the characters the reader or the audience


the main character in a literary work that the author wants you to sympathize with

point of view

directs the type and amount of information the writer reveals; vantage point from which the story is told

first person POV

when a character in the story tells the story


when an all knowing third person narrator can tell readers what any character thinks and feels

third person limited

when the narrator sees the world through one character's eyes and reveals only that character's thoughts


the sequence of events in a literary work


introduces the setting characters and basic situation

inciting incident

introduces the central conflict

rising action

all events leading up to the climax; the conflicts become more apparent


the high point of interest or suspense

falling action

all events leading to the resolution; when the events become less complicated


a general insight or change is conveyed

unreliable narrator

has trouble discerning fantasy from reality

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