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Round Character

a character who shows many traits and whose personality is complex and multi-faceted

Dynamic Character

a character that goes through a significant amount of changes from the beginning to the end

Static Character

a character that changes very little from the beginning to the end


The most intense, exciting, or important point of something; a culmination or apex


a struggle between two forces:
man vs man
man vs nature
man vs self
man vs machine
man vs society


a French word meaning "the unknotting." In literary criticism, it denotes the resolution of conflict in fiction or drama (also known as falling action)


the language of a particular district, class, or group of persons


the choice and use of words and phrases in speech or writing

Figurative Language

a deviation from what speakers of a language understand as the ordinary or standard use of words in order to achieve some special meaning or effect


a comparison between two distinctly different things using "like" or "as"


a figure of speech in which two unlike objects are implicitly compared without the use of "like" or "as."

Figure of Speech

a scheme or a trope used for rhetorical or artistic effect


a scene in a movie, novel, etc., set in a time earlier than the main story


a character that serves by contrast to highlight or emphasize opposing traits in another character


suggesting, hinting, indicating, or showing what will occur later in a narrative


exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally


visually descriptive or figurative language, esp. in a literary work


the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect

Literal Language

a form of language in which writers and speakers mean exactly what their words denote


in literature, a feeling, emotional state, or disposition of mind--especially the predominating atmosphere or tone of a literary work or in grammar, an aspect of verbs


an attack on or criticism of any stupidity or vice in the form of scathing humor, or a critique of what the author sees as dangerous religious, political, moral, or social standards


the general locale, historical time, and social circumstances in which the action of a fictional or dramatic work occurs

Rising Action

that development of plot in a story that precedes and leads up to the climax


a statement or proposition that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory


something that imitates the serious manner and characteristic features of a particular literary work in order to make fun of those same features


the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form

String of Consciousness

a literary technique that presents the thoughts and feelings of a character as they occur

Point of View

the way a story gets told and who tells it. It is the method of narration that determines the position, or angle of vision, from which the story unfolds


a word, place, character, or object that means something beyond what it is on a literal level


a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa


a central idea or statement that unifies and controls an entire literary work


the means of creating a relationship or conveying an attitude or mood

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