Williamson, Ideas in Literature, 1E - Unit 8

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Terms in this set (37)
AntithesisThe placement of two opposing ideas next to each other, often through parallel grammatical structure or other rhetorical techniques.ParadoxA seemingly contradictory statement that reveals complexity, insight, or a truth.OxymoronA figure of speech that combines contradictory, self-canceling elements to create emphasis, paradox, or complex meaning.ContrastThe opposition of two literary elements or events of plot, usually presented to highlight the differences between them.AmbiguityA word, phrase, action, or situation in a literary work that allows for two or more simultaneous interpretations supported by the text.SymbolA concrete object in a text that represents a value, idea, or other abstract concept.ToneThe attitude of the author, narrator, or speaker toward the subject, characters, or setting of a literary work, as revealed through diction, syntax, and other stylistic choices.ArchetypeA character, setting, object, theme, situation, or story line that occurs so frequently across cultures and time periods that it becomes a pattern and embodies a universal meaning.AssociationA relationship between the reader and the text when the reader recognizes the connotations and implications of words or the figurative meaning of objects.ImageA literary device that appeals to the reader's senses and sensory experiences, especially the creation of visual pictures in the minds of the audience.ComparisonA literary and rhetorical device that uses similarities between people, places, things, and/or ideas to help the reader recognize figurative meaning or an abstract concept.MetaphorA comparison of two unrelated objects that assigns ideas to their points of comparison.AnalogyA comparison of two unrelated objects that reveals their shared qualities, often used to explain an unfamiliar subject or concept in terms that are more familiar to an audience.AllegoryA story that uses a series of deliberately obvious symbols to represent abstract ideas and meanings.PersonificationFigurative device that gives human qualities to inanimate or nonhuman objects, places, and concepts.AllusionA reference to literature, culture, religion, or history that connects a writer's subject to a larger idea or broader context.ConceitAn extended metaphor that compares or contrasts images, concepts, and associations in surprising, elaborate, and paradoxical ways.FlashbackA structural element of a narrative that interrupts linear chronological time to show readers events that happened in the past.InconsistencyA contradiction within the dramatic situation, such as irony or incongruity, that contributes to a tension or complexity.MotifA pattern of related images, metaphors, and objects that conveys a significant idea in a text.Extended metaphorA comparison of two unrelated things that focus on traits, qualities, or characteristics throughout a text.StanzaA group of lines in a poem set apart from other lines and groups by spacing or indentation.IdeaAn abstract concept or thought that — in literature — often captures an aspect of the human experience.SimileA comparison that uses words such as "like" or "as" to make an explicit comparison between two objects or concepts.RhythmA regular or repeated pattern of sound in poetry — especially regarding the sequence of stressed and unstressed syllables of words.Narrative pacingAn author's choices of order and tempo to reveal the events of the story's plot.ContextThe social, historical, or cultural circumstances that shape a literary work's creation or provide background to the setting of a play or story.