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79 terms

American Literature

STUDY
PLAY
Pre-1620
Pre-Colonial Period
1620-1800
Colonial/Revolutionary Period
1800-1850
Romantic/Transcendentalist Period
1850-1900
Realist/Naturalist Period
Elevated Language
Use of complicated vocabulary, syntax and sentence structure
1620
The year the Puritan Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts.
Syntax
Word order
Meter
The rhythm or beat of a line or lines of poetry
Creation Myth
A story that explains how the universe or the earth was created.
Major Realist Writers
Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe
Primary Source
A first-hand source
Secondary source
A source created by someone who did not witness an event firsthand.
Historical Narrative
A story about history.
External Conflict
Man vs Man, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. society
Internal Conflict
Man vs. self
Of Plymouth Plantation
A primary source about the founding of one of America's earliest settlements.
Slave Narratives
Autobiographical accounts by persons who suffered the horrors of slavery.
Sensory Imagery
Words that appeal to the five senses
Writer's Purpose
To inform, to entertain, to express him/herself, or to persuade
Puritan Beliefs
Humans are inherently evil, personal salvation depends on the grace of god, and the Bible is the supreme authority on earth.
Puritan Values
Hard work, family life, community service, and education.
Iambic Pentameter
A form of meter where each line of poetry has ten syllables, following an unstressed-stressed pattern.
Inverted Syntax
The reversal of word order.
Anne Bradstreet
The first important American poet.
Rhyme Scheme
The pattern of rhymes in a poem.
AA, BB, CC, DD, EE, FF, GG
An example of rhyme scheme.
Subject matter of Anne Bradstreet's poetry
Everyday life, family, love between husband and wife
Persuasive Writing
Writing intended to convince a reader to adopt a particular opinion or to perform a certain action.
Loaded Language
Words with strong connotations/emotional associations.
Jonathan Edwards
Puritan minister who wrote and preached Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.
Emotional Appeals
Rely on emotionally charged language that triggers intense feelings like fear, insecurity, etc.
Logical Appeals
Imply that if the readers are reasonable people, they will do or think what the writer desires.
Protagonist
The main character in a work of literature.
Antagonist
The character who opposes the main character in a work of literature.
Theme
The main idea or message at the core of a work of literature
Rhetoric
The art of communicating ideas
Persuasive rhetoric
Consists of reasoned arguments in favor of or against particular beliefs or courses of action.
Ethical Appeals
Call forth an audience's sense of rout and wrong
Rhetorical Questions
Questions that don't require answers
Allusion
An indirect reference to a person, place, event or literary work.
Tone
A writer's attitude towards his/her subject matter
Historical Context
The social conditions that influenced a work of literature's creation.
Romanticism
Literary movement that rejected strict Puritanism and focused on emotion and nature above all else.
Famous American Romantics
Longfellow, Irving, Whitman
Famous American Transcendentalists
Emerson, Thoreau
Stanza
A group of lines in a poem
Metaphor
A direct comparison between two different things.
1st Person Point of View
Narrator is a character in the story and tells the story from his/her point of view
3rd Person Omniscient Point of View
Narrator is outside the action of the story, and knows everything about every character
3rd Person Limited Point of View
Narrator stands outside the story, but focuses on the thoughts, feelings and actions of only one character
Aphorism
A brief statement, usually one sentence long, that expresses a general principle or truth about life.
Walden
Henry David Thoreau's collection of essays written while Thoreau lived alone in Walden Woods for over 2 years.
Catalog
Poetic device frequently used by Walt Whitman that is the use of lists of things, people or attributes.
Free Verse
Poetry without regular patterns of rhyme or meter.
Diction
A writer's word choice.
Dark Romanticism
Focused on the dark, evil aspects of human nature.
Famous Dark Romantics
Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne
Allegory
A work of literature with two levels of meaning: one literal and the other symbolic
End Rhyme
Similar or identical sounds at the end of lines in poetry
Internal Rhyme
Rhymes within a line of poetry
Edgar Allan Poe's Contributions to Literature
Song-like poetry, created the short story, created the murder mystery story
Mood
The feeling or atmosphere that a writer conveys with his/her words.
Foreshadowing
A writer's use of hints or clues to indicate events that will occur later in a story.
Dramatic Irony
When readers know more about a character or a situation than the characters themselves.
Verbal Irony
When someone says one thing, but means another
Situational Irony
A contrast between what is expected to happen and what actually does happen.
Style
The distinctive way that a work of literature is written.
Famous Realist Writers
Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, Harriet Beecher Stowe
Symbol
A person, place, object or activity that has a concrete meaning but also stands for something beyond itself.
Realism
Attempts to present the world as it really is.
Naturalism
An offshoot of realism; attempts to show how human behavior is a product of environment and heredity
Famous Naturalist Writer
Stephen Crane
Couplet
A pair of rhyming lines in a poem
Quatrain
A stanza of four lines in a poem
Tall Tale
American form of humorous story that features extreme exaggeration.
Local Color
Writing that imitates ordinary life and brings a region alive by portraying its typical dress, mannerisms, customs, character types and dialects.
Dialect
Patterns of speech specific to certain regions of the country.
Elements of Mark Twain's Writing Style
Comic exaggeration, humorous subject matter, rambling narratives, use of dialect and idioms
Idiom
Phrase peculiar to a culture.