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interior monologue

record of the conversation inside a character's head; stream of consciousness; often (but not exclusively) a feature of modern and post-modern fiction


intentional reversing of the order of elements in a sentence or phase; often produces an unintended artificiality of language


situation in which the outcome is meaningfully opposite of what is expected


deliberate understatement inteded as a subtle means of emphasis; sometimes formed by the negation of the opposite of the intended characteristic


figure of speech in which a name or descriptive word or phrase is transferred to an object or action different from, but analogous to, that to which it is literally applicable; comparison that says one thing is another


figure of speech in which something is replaced by a thing associated with it


method or form of a literary work; the manner in which a work of literature is written


(similar to tone) the primary emotional attitude of a text


main theme or subject of a work that is elaborated on and developed further throughout the piece; a repeated theme, image, or idea


narrative that serves to explain origins, either of life itself or of religious or cultural practices


one of the four modes of discourse; the telling of a story; the relating of description of a sequence of related events


late 19th and early 20th century literary movement that represents humans as lacking free will and entirely subject to heredity, environment, biological urges and economy


protagonist's arch enemy or supreme and persistent difficulty


impersonal presentation of facts, events, and characters


language that reproduces the sound of what it represents; can contribute to auditory imagery


pairs of elements that contrast meaningfully


figure of speech composed of seemingly contradictory words or phrases


short tale that teaches a moral; similar to but shorter than an allegory; a form of narrative


statement or situation that initially seems to contradict itself but on closer examination is nonetheless true or eventually resolves itself


technique of arranging words, phrases, clause or other structures by placing them side by side and making them similar in form


to restate phrases and sentences in one's own words


the voice of a text


anthropomorphism; the attribution of human and/or sentient qualities to a non-human or inanimate object


poem or speech expressing sorrow


a form of argumentation, one of the four modes of discourse; language inteded to convince through appeals to reason, values, or emotion

point of view

perspective from which material is presented; i.e. first-person narrator, stream of consciousness


main character of a literary owrk


play on words

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