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the general mood, feeling or spirit of the story generated by the setting and affected by the choice of words and subject matter


the means through which the author gives life to the characters; the creation of imaginary persons so that they seem lifelike. characterization is achieved through explanation, description, behavior, dialogue, thoughts, motivations, and responses.


the person, place, idea of physical force opposing the protagonist.


the point of highest dramatic intensity; the turning point in the action, after which the reader discovers whether the main character succeeds or fails in his or her struggle.


the struggle between two opposing forces the main characters problem


clues or hints which prepare the reader for future action or evens. often hints are given the the atmosphere, physical objects, facts, or character traits which are revealed.


contrast, contradiction, or discrepancy between what is expected and what results. the term refers to a recognition of really different form appearance.


the action of a story, the arrangement and sequence of related events.

Point of view

the angle from which the author tells the story; the author's and therefore, the readers' perspective on the story

first-person narrative

the narrator uses "I" and participates in the action of the story


places events in order of time form first to last


looks back at events which have already occurred.

third person narrative

the narrator uses "he" and "she" and is an outside observer of the story.


events following in the climax; the outcome; the aftermath


background against which action takes place, including location, time and environment--social, moral, and emotional conditions- of the characters.


anticipation as to the outcome of events, particularly as it may affect the character for whom the reader has sympathy; questions about a situation which leads to curiosity or tension about the outcome.


an object, action, person, place, or some other detail which also stands for something abstract and means mort than what it is


a central idea, usually about life or human behavior, on which the story is based. theme is inferred from the story and is rarely stated in a story

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