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41 terms

Plot, Character, Irony, & Theme literary terms

These are the basic terms to recognize and use to demonstrate understanding of fiction and narrative nonfiction.
STUDY
PLAY
Indirect Characterization
Shows actions or gives hints that reveal the personality of a character without directly telling.
Falling Action
Events after the climax, leading to the resolution.
External Conflict
A problem or struggle between a character and someone or something outside of the character - includes man vs man; man vs nature; man vs fate/god; etc.
Round Character
This character is fully developed - the writer reveals good and bad traits as well as background; we know a lot about the character.
Protagonist
Main character
Internal Conflict
A struggle inside a character's mind about opposing needs, desires, or emotions; man vs self.
Suspense
Uncertainty or anxiety the reader feels about what is going to happen next in a story; often generated in rising actions
Exposition
The beginning of a story that introduces the characters, setting, and basic situation (conflict).
Antagonist
The character who works against the protagonist in the story; usually thought of as the "bad guy".
Foreshadowing
The use of hints and clues to suggest what will happen later in a plot.
Dynamic Character
A character who grows, learns, or changes as a result of the story's action.
Characterization
The process of revealing the personality of a character in a story.
Flat Character
A character who is not very well developed; this character seems to possess only one or two personality traits - little or no background is revealed.
Resolution
Usually at the end of a story where the conflict(s) are solved or the outcome of the conflicts becomes apparent.
Setting
The time and place where a story takes place.
Static Character
A character that does not change from the beginning of the story to the end.
Plot
The sequence of events in a story.
Conflict
A problem between a character and another person or force. May be internal or external.
Climax
The turning point in a story.
Rising Action
Events leading up to the climax - these tend to be suspenseful and include foreshadowing.
Direct Characterization
The writer tells us directly what a character's personality is like.
Irony
This is literary technique that portrays differences between appearance & reality (dramatic), expectation & result (situational), or meaning & intention (verbal).
Theme
The main idea or meaning of a text. Often, this is an insight about human life revealed in a literary work.
Allusion
A reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art
1st Person Point of View
The narrator is a character in the story. ( I, me, my, we, our )
3rd Person Limited Point of View
narrator uses pronouns "he," "she," or "it" to convey the thoughts and feelings of one character only
3rd Person Omniscient Point of View
Omniscient means "all- knowing", and so it is when the narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of every character in the story, narrator still uses pronouns "he," "she," or "it"
Character
A person or an animal in a story, a play, or another literary work.
dramatic irony
In this type of irony, facts or events are unknown to a character in a play or a piece of fiction but known to the reader, audience, or other characters in the work
fiction
A story that is not true or is made up
figurative language
Language employing figures of speech; language that cannot be taken literally; all uses of language that imply an imaginative comparison
genre
A category or type of literature (or of art, music, etc.) characterized by a particular form, style, or content.
imagery
Description that appeals to the senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste).
metaphor
A figure of speech in which a comparison is implied but not stated, such as "This winter is a bear;" A comparison of two unlike things without using the word like or as.
narrator
A person or character who tells a story
nonfiction
writing that tells about real people, places, and events
personification
A figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human feelings, thoughts, or attitudes
point of view
the perspective from which a story is told
simile
A comparison using "like" or "as"
symbol
A thing that represents or stands for something else, esp. a material object representing something abstract.
verbal irony
A figure of speech in which what is said is the opposite of what is meant; often sarcasm