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61 terms

Short Fiction/Novel Study Literary Terms

From Mrs. Smith's AP English 12 class at Farragut. This deck is provided courtesy of the class of 2012 and quizlet.
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aestheticism
devotion to the idea of beauty in art
allegory
an expressive style that uses fictional characters and events to describe some subject by suggestive resemblances
allusion
a reference to another work of literature, person, or event
ambiguity
unclearness by virtue of having more than one meaning
annotation
Explanatory notes added to a text to explain, cite sources, or give bibliographical data.
anti-hero
a protagonist who lacks the characteristics that would make him a hero (or her a heroine)
antithesis
opposition, or contrast of ideas or words in a balanced or parallel construction
archetype
an original model on which something is patterned
artistic unity
The condition of a successful literary work whereby all of its elements work together for the achievement of its central purpose. In an artistically unified work nothing is included that is irrelevant and nothing is excluded that is essential.
bildungsroman
a type of novel concerned with the education, development, and maturing of a young protagonist.
black humor
the use of disturbing themes in comedy
catharsis
a release of emotional tension
characterization
the process by which the writer reveals the personality of a character
chance
an unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that causes an event to result one way rather than another
character foil
a character who represents a sharp contrast with the protagonist and thus serves to stress and highlight the protagonists distinctive temperament
chronological order
the order in which events happen in time
coincidence
the chance occurrence, at the same time, of two or more seemingly connected events; V. coincide: happen at the same time; be in agreement; CF. coincident; CF. coincidental
comic relief
the inclusion of a humorous character or scene to contrast with the tragic elements of a work, thereby intensifying the next tragic event.
commercial fiction
fiction written to meet the taste of a wide popular audience and relying usually on tested formulas for satisfying such taste
connotation
an idea that is implied or suggested
conventional
following accepted customs and proprieties
denouement
the outcome of a complex sequence of events
dues ex machina
the employment of some unexpected and improbable incident to make things turn out right.
diction
the manner in which something is expressed in words, aka word choice
didactic
intended to instruct
dramatic irony
(theater) irony that occurs when the meaning of the situation is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play
dynamic character
one whose character changes in the course of the play or story
epigraph
a saying or statement on the title page of a work, or used as a heading for a chapter or other section of a work
epiphany
a moment of sudden revelation or insight
exposition
The introductory material which gives the setting, creates the tone, presents the characters, and presents other facts necessary to understanding the story.
explication
The art of interpreting or discovering the meaning of a text. It usually involves close reading and special attention to figurative language.
farce
(n.) a play filled with ridiculous or absurd happenings; broad or far-fetched humor; a ridiculous sham
flat character
a character who embodies a single quality and who does not develop in the course of a story
foreshadowing
the act of providing vague advance indications
genre
a major category or type of literature
hamartia
the character flaw or error of a tragic hero that leads to his downfall
hubris
excessive pride or self-confidence
imagery
a word or group of words in a literary work which appeal to one or more of the senses: sight, taste, touch, hearing, and smell
literary fiction
fiction written with serious artistic intentions, providing an imagined experience yielding authentic insights into some significant aspect of life
mood
the overall emotion created by a work of literature
motif
a principal idea, feature, theme, or element; a repeated or dominant figure in a design
parable
a short narrative designed to teach a moral lesson
paradox
a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.
parody
a work which imitates another in a ridiculous manner
point of view
the perspective from which a story is told
protagonist
the principal character in a work of fiction
round character
a character who is well developed by the author and who many characteristics
sarcasm
n. harsh, often ironic ridicule, intended to hurt
satire
form of literature in which irony, sarcasm, and ridicule are employed to attack human vice and folly
setting
arrangement of scenery and properties to represent the place where a play or movie is enacted
situational irony
occurs when the outcome of a work is unexpected, or events turn out to be the opposite from what one had expected
static character
a character that does not change from the beginning of the story to the end
stock character
the stereotyped character in which he is immediately known from typical characters in history
stream of consciousness
a style of writing that portrays the inner (and often chaotic) workings of a character's mind, usually consisting of a recording of the random flow of ideas, memories, associations, images, and emotions, as they arise spontaneously in a character's mind
style
the distinctive quality of speech or writing created by the selection and arrangement of words and figures of speech
symbol
anything that stands for or represents something else
theme
a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in a literary or artistic work
tone
The attitude of the author toward the audience and characters (e.g., serious or humorous).
tragic hero
A literary character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy
verbal irony
A figure of speech in which what is said is the opposite of what is meant, aka sarcasm
verisimilitude
(n.) the quality of appearing to be true, real, likely, or probable