How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

41 terms

Literary Terms

STUDY
PLAY
genre
a kind of literary or artistic work
prose
writing in sentence and paragraph form
poetry
rhythmic, compressed writing
fiction
a literary work based on the imagination
non fiction
a literary work based on fact
short story
a condensed form of prose fiction
novella
a work of prose fiction longer than a short story but shorter than a novel (usually about 100 pages)
novel
an extended work of prose fiction
character
an agent of the plot in a literary work
antagonist
the character who works against the protagonist
protagonist
the principal character in a work of fiction
plot
the ordered events in a literary work
plot line
the graphic display of the action or events in a story.
rising action
the events leading up to the climax
climax
the decisive moment in a novel or play, often the moment of most emotion
falling action
the resolution of a plot
denouement
synonym for falling action
foreshadowing
hints from the author about what is going to happen
suspense
Uncertainty or anxiety the reader feels about what is going to happen
flashback
a transition to an earlier event or scene that interrupts the normal chronology of the story
5 kinds of conflict
man vs. man
man vs. nature
man vs. fate/the gods
man vs. society
man vs. himself
setting
where and when the story takes place
social milieu
the attitudes of the people of the setting
theme
the author's message in his work. It can be stated in a sentence about MANKIND.
point of view
the angle from which a story is told
common points of view
first person
third person
omniscient
style
the distinctive way in which an author writes
mood
the emotional atmosphere of a literary work
tone
the author's attitude
irony
incongruity between what is expected and what occurs
3 kinds of irony
verbal irony
situational irony
dramatic irony
imagery
using words to paint a mental picture
symbolism
using a simple thing to stand for something more complicated
simile
a comparison using LIKE, AS, or SEEMS
metaphor
a comparison stated as fact
personification
using words to treat inanimate things as if they were living
hyperbole
purpposeful, huge exaggeration
oxymoron
conjoining contradictory terms (deafening silence, jumbo shrimp)
allusion
a a mention or reference to history, literature, or culture
epiphany
a moment of sudden understanding or insight
juxtapostion
two unlike words or ideas placed side by side. Ex: The sad clown danced happily through the butchery