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Literary Terms Preview


A person or animal in a story, a play, or another literary work


Secondary character sometimes in conflict with the protagonist


Main character


The series of related events that make up a story / what happense in a story


The point in a story that creates the greatest suspense or interest

Plot twist

An unexpected development or turn of events


The time and place of story, play or narrative poem


A main idea a work of literature; an idea or message that the writer wishes to convey on the subject

Point of view

The vantage point from which a story is told

First person narrator

The story is told by one of the characters as he experienced it--pronoun "I" is used

Omniscient narrator

The narrator knows all in the story telling what he wishes


The final part of the story in which the confilct is resolved and the story is brought to a close


A struggle between opposing characters or opposing forces which may be an external conflict or internal conflict


The use of hints and clues suggesting events that will occur later in the plot


Contrast between expectation and reality; can be tragic, moving or funny; 3 types: verbal, dramatic, situational


Interruption in the present action of a plot to show events that happened at an eariler time


The overall atmosphere or feeling of a work of literature such as happy, scary, or sad


The attitude a writer takes toward his / her subject, characters, and audience; a writer's tone might be humorous, sincere, or sarcastic


A person, place, or thing that has meaning in itself and stands for something beyond itself


Type of narrator who tells what happens in the story without adding his / her attitudes or emotions


Type of narrator who tells what happens in the story, including his own attitudes and emotions


Type of 3rd person narrator where the narrator focuses on the thoughts and feelings of only one character


Type of character that is only briefly presented in a story and the reader learns very little about the character


Type of character which is fully developed within the story through description and action


Type of character that changes as a result of the story's events


Type of character that does not change much in the course of a story's events

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