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literary terms/definitions for Mr Ward's AP English Lit

Escape Literature

purely for entertainment


broadens our awareness of life

Commercial Fiction

meets broad tastes of audience


sequence of incidents or events presented in order


clash of actions, ideas, desires or wills


turning point; the point at which the action stops rising and begins falling or reversing


portion of plot revealing the outcome


central character


forces against the protagonist


when the character must choose between two undesirables

Surprise Ending

sudden twist of action

Indeterminate Ending

no definite conclusion can be reached

Direct Presentation

writer tells us exactly what the character is like

Indirect Presentation

author shows us the character in action and we determine what he or she is like

Fist Characters

one which can be summarized by one or two traits

Rounded Characters

many-sided and complex


nonrealistic; can be escape

Artistic Unity

when all elements of a story work together

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