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Literary elements and devices


use of the same consonant at the beginning of each stressed syllable in a line of verse


a reference to something literary, mythological, or historical that the author assumes the reader will recognize


short account of an incident (especially a biographical one)


A character or force in conflict with the main character


the way a writer reveals the personality of a character


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

complicating incident

incident that occurs and complicates the plot, because it brings the characters into conflict


a struggle between opposing characters or opposing forces

first person point of view

a character in the story is actually telling the story himself/herself


interruption in the present action of a plot to show events that happened at an earlier time


the use of clues or hints to suggest events that will occur later in the plot


a figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion, make a point, or evoke humor


a contrast between expectation and reality


an imaginative comparison between two unlike things in which one thing is said to be another thing


the overall feeling of a work of literature


the use of words that imitate sounds


a figure of speech in which an object or animal is spoken of as if it had human feelings, thoughts, or attitudes


the main character in a work of literature


the act of doing or performing again


Harsh, cutting language or tone intended to ridicule


the time and place of a story, play, or narrative poem


a comparison between two unlike things, using a word such as like, as, than, or resembles


A device in literature where an object represents an idea.


the general idea or insight about life that a work of literature reveals

third person limited point of view

the narrator focuses on the thoughts and feelings of only one character

third person omniscient point of view

the narrator knows everything about the characters and their problems


the attitude a writer takes toward his or her subject, characters, and audience

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